In District 4 County Commission race, Maio already has surpassed his 2014 campaign contribution tally

Other three candidates for board seats well shy of Maio’s $133,751 total as of Oct. 26

The County Commission will have at least one new member after the Nov. 6 General Election, as Commissioner Paul Caragiulo (far left) is not seeking re-election. File photo

Heading into the final stretch of the 2018 campaign season, incumbent Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio is well ahead not only of his opponent in fundraising but also the two District 2 contenders, according to records filed through most of October.

In fact, Republican Maio, who lives in Nokomis, has surpassed the total he raised for his 2014 campaign, when he first won election to the board. Altogether, he raised $132,468.26 for that race, compared to $133,751.33 thus far in this campaign.

Nonetheless, Democrat Wesley Anne Beggs, who is running against Maio for the District 4 seat, has raised $35,654.25, which is more than three times the total Democrat Ray Porter of Sarasota brought in for his 2014 campaign against Maio. Porter raised $11,378.94, which included $3,400 in loans Porter made to his campaign, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office records show.

Maio’s tally as of Oct. 26 was $121,668 in cash, plus $883.33 in in-kind contributions and $11,200 he loaned to his campaign, the latest documents say.

However, he had spent $111,740.91 through Oct. 19, the Supervisor of Elections Office reports.

In 2014, he brought in $125,098.78 in monetary contributions and $7,369.48 in in-kind contributions, finance records show. He spent all of the money before the end of October 2014, according to the documentation on the Supervisor of Elections Office website.

District 2 Republican candidate Christian Ziegler of Sarasota has raised the second largest amount of all four County Commission candidates thus far on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot, records show. Still, the total is slightly more than half of Maio’s.

Through Oct. 26, Ziegler reported $64,950.32 in monetary contributions but only $400 in in-kind contributions. As of his Oct. 26 report, he had spent $49,627.30.

Beggs last two reports show that she had raised $34,140.18 in monetary contributions and $1,514.07 in in-kind contributions as of Oct. 26. She had spent $20,620.45, the Supervisor of Election Office records show.

Ziegler’s Democratic opponent, Ruta Maria Jouniari of Sarasota, reported a total of $26,745.78 in monetary contributions and $80 in in-kind contributions through Oct. 26. She had spent $25,977.10, the records note.

Details in the District 4 campaign documents

Commissioner Alan Maio. File photo

Maio’s campaign finance reports show he raised $4,900 from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12 and another $6,000 from Oct. 13 to Oct. 19. Akin to documentation in his earlier reports, one of the most recent reports includes multiple $200 contributions from members of one family and from their businesses.

For example, not only did the Boone Law Firm in Venice contribute to Maio’s campaign, but attorneys E.G. Boone, Jeffery A. Boone, Jackson Boone, Stuart Boone and Stephen K. Boone did, as well. E.G. Boone contributed another $200 as “Commercial Landlord.”

Under election law, no one can give more than $200 to a candidate.

The support from the Boones is similar to an earlier series of contributions from James Gabbert, a county resident who proposes to construct a waste transfer station on property he owns near the Celery Fields.

Through family members and a number of companies he controls, Gabbert gave Maio a total of $1,800 in January.

Gabbert won approval from the County Commission in 2015 for the waste transfer station, but county staff has continued to review the latest plans submitted for its construction.

Wesley Beggs. Image from her campaign website

Responding to a Sarasota News Leader question this week, county Media Relations Officer Drew Winchester wrote that revisions are likely to Gabbert’s latest plans for the business.

Through Oct. 19, Maio’s largest expense was $8,950 to Strategic Digital Services in Tallahassee for “digital media/online advertising/video production.”

In his report for Oct. 6 through Oct. 12, Maio’s top expense was $2,750, paid to Political Insights of Sarasota for consulting.

By the News Leader’s count, only four of the contributions Maio received in his last two reports were less than $200, and each of those four was for $100. Altogether, he listed 61 monetary contributions.

In contrast, as she has throughout her campaign, Democrat Beggs received contributions between Oct. 6 and Oct. 19 that ranged from $5 on up to $200. Her report for Oct. 6 through Oct. 12 showed 21 contributions totaling $1,590. For the period of Oct. 13 through Oct. 19, Beggs reported 11 contributions adding up to $610.

Her expenses in the last report were both for printing by Go Union Printing in Tampa: She paid the firm $1,302.82. In the report for Oct. 6-12, she listed payments of $63.88 to Lowe’s for sign-making materials and $3.87 for Facebook advertising.

Contrasts in District 2 race

In his last two reports — from Oct. 6 through Oct. 19 — District 2 candidate Ziegler raised a total of $4,317.88, more than double the amount Jouniari reported for the same period: $2,066.26.

Ziegler did have one batch of contributions from multiple limited liability corporations that appeared to be linked to one family, based on records from the Florida Division of Corporations.

His report for Oct. 13-19 showed $200 each from 1780 Phillippi Harbor LLC, 1780 Phillippi Harbor #2 LLC, Anderson SRQ LLC, 5741 New York Avenue LLC and SKH1 LLC.

The first three of those companies list Kelly S. Anderson among the “Authorized Person(s)” on the Division of Corporations website, with the address of 3816 Prairie Dunes Drive in Sarasota. That address also is listed for 5741 New York Avenue, though the News Leader found no record of 5741 New York Avenue in the Florida Division of Corporations listings as of Oct. 31.

The contribution from 5741 New York Avenue to Ziegler’s campaign was made on Oct. 16, Ziegler’s financial records show.

In the case of Anderson SRQ, Robert T. Anderson Jr. is named as the manager, and Robert T. Anderson is listed as the registered agent, both with the address of 1919 Baywood Drive, Suite B, in Sarasota. Robert T. Anderson Jr. also is listed, with the same address, as the registered agent for SKH1.

All five of those limited liability corporations in Ziegler’s records were identified as being in the real estate business.

Christian Ziegler. Image from his campaign website

Robert T. Anderson’s website says he “has been a part of the RE/MAX Family in Sarasota” for more than 10 years, with more than $180 million in transactions to his credit.

His website also lists Kelly S. Anderson, with both working out of the RE/MAX Alliance Group office on Webber Street in Sarasota.

Ziegler did list a number of smaller contributions in his last two reports.

In his Oct. 6-12 report, the smallest contribution of the 50 Ziegler listed was $20; however, he had 11 individual contributions of $20.18, with eight of the people identified as retirees.

He listed 17 contributions in the report for Oct. 13-19, with four at $20.18 each. Two of those came from Take My Life Back counseling service on Clark Road in Sarasota.

All of Ziegler’s expenses in his campaign finance report for Oct. 13-19 are credit card processing fees paid to Anedot in Baton Rouge, La. The largest is $49.80; the smallest, $4.30.

However, the report for Oct. 6-12 lists a $4,765.71 payment to Andrick & Associates of Sarasota for printing and mailing postcards.

Ziegler also reimbursed himself $3,050.26, that report notes, for Facebook ads, email marketing and business cards. The largest of those payments was $2,244.66 for the Facebook advertising.

Ruta Maria Jouniari. Image from her campaign website

In her Oct. 6-12 report, Jouniari listed 15 contributions. Six of those were for $20.18 each, and all but one of the individuals was listed as a retiree.

She had another 13 contributions in her report for Oct. 13-19, with the smallest being $10 from a retiree.

In that early October report, Jouniari’s biggest expenses were $250 each to Facebook — for media services — and Michel Aller Munoz of Bradenton, denoted as “campaign staff.”

In her report for Oct. 13-19, the highest expense listed is $801.76 to Signs on the Cheap in Texas for campaign signs.

The second biggest expense was $307 to ATC Mobile Market of Arlington, Va., for media services.