Hyde surpasses Richard Dorfman’s total contributions in 2013 as City of Sarasota runoff looms on May 9

Hyde reported raising more than $74,000 as of April 25

Editor’s note: This article was updated about noon on May 5 to include the amount of money Martin Hyde has contributed to his own campaign.

Martin Hyde. Image from his campaign website

With early voting underway for the May 9 Sarasota City Commission runoff election for two seats, Martin Hyde has eclipsed the total contributions that 2013 at-large candidate Richard Dorfman raised, the latest financial reports show.

The “11th Day Second Election Report” says Hyde had brought in $74,574.74 by the time he filed the document on April 25 in the Office of the City Auditor and Clerk. Dorfman’s final report put his contributions at $62,116.10, records show.

City elections records show that Hyde has contributed $40,366.34 to his campaign, based on Sarasota News Leader calculations.

Hyde’s total is not quite double what candidate Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, a past city Planning Board member who owns a marketing and consulting firm, had raised by the time she submitted her report on April 28. Her total was $39,579.

Candidate Hagen Brody, an attorney and former prosecutor, had contributions totaling $37,360, his April 27 report says.

Dorfman was defeated in that 2013 runoff for the two at-large seats.

During the 2015 city election, the largest amount raised by a candidate was $43,144, records show. That was the final figure Eileen Normile reported; she also was unsuccessful in her bid. Among the three winning candidates that year, Commissioner Liz Alpert had the largest total: $34,250, records show.

Hyde, who owns the information technology and services firm Gulf Business Systems in Sarasota, reported having spent $66,695.50 as of the latest report, while Ahearn-Koch’s documentation shows her expenditures totaling $30,957.77. Brody had spent $25,726.23.

Among the 60 most recent contributors to Hyde’s campaign — from April 1 through April 21 — were Chris Gallagher, an architect who has served on the city’s Planning Board since August 2010; former County Commissioner Christine Robinson, who is the executive director of the Argus Foundation; Neil McCurry Jr., CEO of Sabal Palm Bank; developer Angus Rogers; restaurateur Mark Caragiulo; and attorneys William Merrill III, Charles Bailey III, Michael Furen and Matthew Brockway.

Jen Ahearn-Koch. Image from her campaign website

Ahearn-Koch lists 70 new contributions altogether in her two reports for April. Among those supporting her are outgoing City Commissioner Susan Chapman, who lost her bid for re-election during the March primary; attorney John Patterson and his wife, Nora, who served on both the City and County commissions; Sarasota County Public Defender Larry Eger; Cathy Antunes, a community activist and radio show host; actress Carolyn Michel; and Barbara Zdravecky, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

Among the 44 people listed as the most recent contributors to Brody is City Commissioner Liz Alpert; Shaun Merriman, president and CEO of Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida; attorney Dan Lobeck, who also heads up the Control Growth Now organization; Cynthia Peterson, president of the Board of Directors of the Center for Architecture Sarasota; former Commissioner Robinson; Frank Brunckhorst, founder of Boar’s Head; Dan Denton, founder and publisher of Sarasota Magazine; Michael Shelton, executive director of Embracing Our Differences; and Sarah Wertheimer, associate executive director of Embracing Our Differences.

Brody and Hyde both have received support from the political action committees of the Dade County, Sun Coast (based in Clearwater), Florida Law and Order, and Florida Justice Police Benevolent Associations.

Christine Jennings, former chair of the Sarasota Democratic Party, contributed to Ahearn-Koch and Brody in April, their reports show. Although the city election is bipartisan, the Sarasota Democratic Party is urging voters to support Ahearn-Koch and Brody.

Attorney Morgan Bentley of Bentley & Bruning contributed to both Hyde and Ahearn-Koch in April, their reports show.

As for expenses: The biggest Hyde reported in his latest filing was $2,932.08, which went to Andrick & Associates of Sarasota for a 6,800-piece mailer.

Altogether, his expenditures from April 8 through April 21 were $4,862.91.

Hagen Brody. Image from his campaign website

For Ahearn-Koch, the largest expense in her April 28 financial report also was for mailers: $1,929.74, which she paid to Street Smartz in Jacksonville. She lists another $1,098.85 to the same firm for “Walkcard Reprint.” Her total expenses from April 4 through April 21 were $5,480.16.

Brody reported spending $1,780.35 from April 8 through April 21. His largest expense was $1,250, the fee he paid his campaign manager, Frank Cirillo, the report says.

Earlier this week, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner reminded voters in the City of Sarasota who are casting ballots by mail to make certain they return those ballots promptly. They must reach one of his three county offices no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, a news release stresses.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 9. For more information, visit the Supervisor of Elections Office’s website: www.sarasotavotes.com.

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