Tampa City Council candidates struggle to raise money in November

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November fundraising for Tampa City Council members was pretty stagnant, according to campaign finance updates. Candidates are just about three months out from the election, but don’t seem to be too aggressive on bringing in the campaign cash.

Up until this week there was only one candidate running to replace District 2 city council member Mary Mulhern. Jospeh Citro has only brought in a total of $2,950 and only $800 of that rolled in during November. His most sizable contribution came from attorney Bill Wagner who kicked in $500 to Citro’s campaign.

Citro’s newly filed opponent, neighborhood activist Julie Jenkins, has not raised any money yet. Jenkins ran against Harry Cohen’s south Tampa seat in 2011.

With less than a month to file for city council races, Jenkins and Citro are the only two in the race. City Council Chair Charlie Miranda is rumored to be a possible contender. He’s term limited out of his District 6 single-member district but could run for Mulhern’s countywide seat. Miranda is known for jumping into the race at the last minute.

The District 6 race to replace Miranda is the most competitive this municipal cycle. Three candidates have filed and all are aggressively fundraising.

Engineer Jackie Toledo is considerably leading the pack as far as money is concerned. She’s raised more than $80,000 so far. More than $13,000 of that rolled in during November from big donors like the Florida Innovation Fund Pac and the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. Both kicked in $1,000. So too did Galloway Chiropractic and business owner William Bullwinkle. Toledo spent just over $1,400 on office rent and supplies.

Toledo’s opponents, Thomas Clark Castellano and Guido Maniscalco are trailing far behind in fundraising. Castellano brought in just $800 during November. That brings his fundraising total to $26,340. Maniscalco’s November fundraising was slow too. He brought in $720 for a total of $22,139. Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez who recently endorsed Maniscalco contributed $40.

Incumbents running for re-election are out-raising opponents. Yvonne Yolie Capin has raised $48,000 in her bid against challenger Paul Erni. Neither candidate raised any money during November.

Harry Cohen has brought in more than $77,000. Nearly $30,000 rolled in during November making it his strongest fundraising month since August. Cohen saw maximum contributions of $1,000 from speech therapist Victoria Weissman, Edward Lee and Melissa Cerlale.

Cohen is being challenged by University of Tampa student David Tyler Barrett. Barrett has only raised $216 so far with nearly all of that coming in during November. Barrett spent $85 on business cards and two rides from the rideshare company Lyft.

Cohen also faces Kent King. King has raised $36,000. Only $650 of that was brought in during the November cycle. He spent more than $3,000.

Frank Reddic has raised more than $20,000 for re-election to his District 5 seat. He raised $1,375 in November with $1,000 of that coming from the Kimmins Corporation. Reddick faces

Borthland Roachesta Murray, a Tampa cop, and Quinton Robinson. Neither has broken $1,000 yet. Roachesta failed to raise any money in November and has a total of $950 brought in so far. Robinson has only raised $205 with $50 of that coming in during the latest reporting cycle.

Lisa Montelione faces the man she defeated last go around, Joseph Caetano. Montelione has raised nearly $18,000 to his $700. She raised $1,525 in November. Political organizer and Hillsborough Democratic vice-chair Tim Heberlein kicked in a modest $15. Montelione endorsed Heberlein for chair of the local party, but Heberlein ended up withdrawing from the race due to a work conflict.

The Tampa municipal election is March 3. Mayor Bob Buckhorn is also up for re-election, but he doesn’t, so far, face a challenger. Activist Becky Rubright had filed to run against him, but withdrew from the election after failing to get enough petition signatures to qualify.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.