With just days before voters will choose just one of three candidates to represent the Republican ticket in the Pasco County Commission District 2 race, Mike Moore will clearly take the fundraising title after a final push this week put him over $100,000.
Combined with the efforts of fellow Republicans Ken Littlefield and Bob Robertson, the three candidates have raised $134,348, already making it the most expensive District 2 race in the past decade. It tops the $121,111 raised in the 2006 election, and the $116,669 collected in 2010 — both won by Pat Mulieri. And those numbers included the general election.
Moore goes into the primary election day with just under $103,400, picking up $4,400 between Aug. 9 and Aug. 21. That includes $1,000 from the political action committee HCA West Florida Division, and $1,500 from Orsi Development and Springfield Homes in New Port Richey.
In all, Moore has spent just under $100,000 of that, with less than 45 percent of those funds — or $44,376 — staying inside Pasco County. Moore spent nearly $50,000 on advertising, all but nearly $3,000 of it, however, with a Ponte Vedra Beach company called Majority Strategies Inc. He also spent more than $15,000 — or about 15 percent of his money — with an Odessa company called Capital Consulting.
Robertson picked up a little more than $2,000 in his final two weeks of campaigning ahead of the primary, bringing his total to just under $15,600. That includes $500 each from Dobies Funeral Homes in Holiday, as well as listed Tampa property manager Lloyd Riales and also Eric Gilbertson, a volunteer director with the Samaritan Project of Zephyrhills.
Robertson has spent $14,270 of those funds, half of it locally. However, business cards and signs, among other things, were purchased outside the county — and sometimes the state — including $921 to a Texas company called Signs on the Cheap, and just under $2,300 to Delivery Signs of Orlando. Robertson, however, did do social media and other work locally with the Wesley Chapel company The Busy Buddy to the tune of $1,155.
When it came to advertising, Robertson spent far less than Moore, just $233, or less than 2 percent of his total expenditures.
Despite Friday being the deadline for final primary campaign reports, Littlefield did not file his financials by 6 p.m. with the Pasco County supervisor of elections office. Before that, he had raised $10,450 — about half of what he did four years before in his primary against Mulieri. That includes about $7,600 Littlefield put in of his own money, and not including about $9,000 in a listed in-kind donation on his own behalf for what he said was printing and postage.
Littlefield spent $10,300, with 57 percent — or $4,967 — taking place locally. Most of his non-local spending was done through Gulf Coast Imprinting in Largo.
After being asked by The Laker/Lutz News about why there was a delay in filing, Littlefield said via email that he was just getting home from work, and planned to file “after dinner.”
Republican voters will have a chance to choose from among the three candidates Aug. 26. The winner will face Democrat Erika Remsberg in the general election.