St. Pete music impressario Bill Edwards donates $500K to pro-Rick Scott re-election committee

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Over a five day period last week – March 25 to March 29 – the Tallahassee-based fundraising machine “Let’s Get to Work” hauled in nearly one million from 189 different sources, with the largest chunk a $500,000 donation from Saint Petersburg entertainment impressario and mortgage refinancing giant Bill Edwards. 

Other big named contributors during that period included: West Palm Beach developer E. Llwyd Ecclestone, who gave $50,000; a trust for Board of Education appointee Gary Chartrand, $50,000; University Park developer Randell Benderson, $100,000; Robert Stork of Vero Beach, $125,000; U.S. Sugar in Clewiston, $100,000; the Florida Freedom Council, $100,000; and Leon Advertising & Public Relations of Miami, $100,000.

The contributions come as officially announced Democratic candidate Nan Rich will have to release her first quarter fundraising report for 2013, due April 10. 

Rich, a former state legislator, entered the race nearly a year ago but remains in the shadow of the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat former Gov. Charlie Crist, who has publicly expressed interest in running. Rich ended 2012 having raised $80,500.

Meanwhile, “Let’s Get to Work” has pulled in $3.53 million this year, with nearly $2.25 million arriving in March. Last year, the committee collected $4.79 million.

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.