Maio continues to lead the way in fundraising for District 4 County Commission race

In District 2 race, Ziegler has close to three times as much in contributions as closest competitor, Jouniari

A graphic shows the County Commission districts. Image courtesy Sarasota County government

Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio of Nokomis continues to outpace all other candidates for County Commission this year — not just in the District 4 races but also in comparison to the District 2 candidates — in terms of fundraising, the latest reports show.

Having added $2,600 in monetary and $408.44 in in-kind contributions from June 23 to July 6, Maio reported a total of $110,068 in the document due to the state by July 13. He had spent another $904.30, bringing that total to $25,716.39.

Commissioner Alan Maio. File photo

Maio has accounted for $10,000 of his contributions, via a loan he made to the campaign in April, records show.

The only County Commission candidate who has raised no money is Siesta Key resident Mike Cosentino. He submitted a form early in July that serves as a notification of no activity in his account for the reporting period from June 23 through July 6.

Cosentino filed as a Democrat on June 14 to face Wesley Anne Beggs in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary.

Cosentino’s previous campaign finance record showed that he had loaned his campaign the $5,198.04 fee to qualify for the race.

The Sarasota News Leader incorrectly reported earlier this month that Beggs appeared to have qualified for the race by submitting the sufficient number of registered voter petitions. An amended report she filed for the period of June 1-22 showed that she, too, paid the $5,198.04 filing feel.

Maio’s Republican primary opponent, Lourdes Ramirez of Siesta Key, pulled in another $1,195 in cash and checks from June 23 to July 6 — along with $622.64 in in-kind donations — for a campaign total thus far of $16,868, her latest report says.

She loaned her campaign $3,300 in March, records note.

Altogether, as of her July 11 report, she had spent $4,191.15.

Lourdes Ramirez. Image from her campaign website

Ramirez filed for the District 4 seat on Feb. 20.

Beggs has remained close to the fundraising level Ramirez has reported. By July 6, Beggs had added $1,815 in cash and checks and $245.25 in in-kind services, bringing her total to $16,085.18. As of July 6, Beggs reported expenses adding up to $10,509.10.

Beggs was the second person to file for the District 4 seat. She turned in her paperwork on Feb. 8. Maio formally submitted paperwork on Dec. 13, 2017 to seek re-election to the seat, which he won in November 2016.

As with previous reports Maio has filed, a number of his 22 latest contributors were in the real estate business or real estate development. They were Carlisle W. Fiers III of Nokomis, Cemo Title Services of Venice, Worthington Property Group of Nokomis, and Sarasota Commercial Reality in Sarasota. Additionally, Maio reported checks from Truex Preferred Construction and Suncoast Architect, both of Englewood.

Maio also noted a contribution from Joseph Medred, whose father, Robert “Bo” Medred, heads up Genesis Planning and Development in Bradenton. Bo Medred often appears before the County Commission on behalf of developers seeking commission approval for new projects.

Maio’s top expenses in his latest report are more payments to the Venice CPA firm of Robinson, Hanks, Young and Roberts and The Thomson Group of Sarasota, which handles communications and social media. Maio paid the CPA firm $500, while the expense noted for The Thomson Group was $400.

Sarasota County School Board member Eric Robinson is the Robinson in the Venice firm. Rod Thomson, a well-known Republican activist in Sarasota, is the principal of The Thomson Group

Wesley Beggs. Image from her campaign website

Ramirez noted a combination of 17 cash and in-kind contributions in her latest report. However, seven of them were in-kind contributions she made to the campaign. Those ranged from $14.78 for social media services to $167.05 for food for a meet-and-greet function to $200 for graphics.

Among the people giving her donations were former Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman and Sarasota City Planning Board member Eileen Normile.

Ramirez’s biggest expenses were $1,819 to Sun Graphics Technologies of Sarasota for yard signs and $1,284 to Gateway Media of Sarasota for printing.

She was able to qualify for the race by gaining the necessary number of voter signatures on petitions.

As she has in recent reports, Beggs again led the way with the number of contributors — 49. However, she accounted for three of those, for in-kind services. Among them were separate payments of $164.18, $49.63 and $31.44 for office supplies for marketing.

Once again, as well, a number of the donations were small — $10, $20 and $25, $30 and $35, for example.

Ramirez reported amounts form $20 to $200.

In contrast, Maio’s monetary contributions for the latest report were ether $100 or $200.

Among those listed as contributors in Beggs’ report for the period of June 23 through July 6 were Jono Miller, retired director of the Environmental Studies Program at New College of Florida, which is Beggs’ alma mater; and past Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner. In her prior report, Beggs identified a campaign with a range of occupations, such as “Lab Tech,” “Computer Programmer” and “Student.”

Both Ramirez and Beggs note in their latest reports that a number of those who have given money to their campaigns are retirees.

Beggs’ biggest expense for the period of June 23 through July 6 was $600 for software.

District 2 reports

Christian Ziegler. Image from his campaign website

A News Leader review of the District 2 candidates’ latest financial reports found Republican Christian Ziegler of Sarasota has received close to three times as much money as his nearest competitor in fundraising, Democrat Ruta Maria Jouniari of Sarasota.

Ziegler’s report from June 23 through July 6 lists a total of $46,200.82 in contributions, with $1,775 having come in during the most recent period. His expenses added up to $13,704.20 as of July 6.

From June 23 through July 6, Jouniari reported that all her monetary and in-kind contributions totaled $16,688.58, while her expenses through that period were $11,068.62.

Ziegler filed for the race on Jan. 22, while Jouniari submitted her paperwork to the Supervisor of Elections Office on March 15.

Alexandra Coe. Image from her campaign website

Alexandra Coe of Sarasota, a Republican who will face Ziegler in the Aug. 28 primary, reported $7,400 in monetary and in-kind contributions from June 23 through July 6. Her expenditures through that period were $6,134.34.

The News Leader also reported incorrectly on July 6 that Coe and Jouniari apparently had qualified by petition. Records they filed more recently show both paid the $5,198.04 filing fee.

Coe showed no contributions in her latest report, while Ziegler listed seven and Jouniari had 24.

Comparable to Maio, Ziegler listed a number of donors in the real estate business. Among them were Cortez Landings LLC, Country Club Shores LLC, Jamatt Properties LLC and Orange Park LLC, all of Sarasota. Each of those contributions was for $200. Matthew Buchanan, son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican who lives on Longboat Key, is the registered agent for all of those entities, according to Florida Division of Corporations records.

Ziegler’s biggest expenses in his latest report were a $545.03 reimbursement to himself for digital marketing and $500 to the Robinson, Hanks, Young and Roberts CPA firm in Venice.

In another updated record filed recently, Coe reported loaning her campaign a total of $250 in May. She also loaned the campaign $3,200 in June.

Rita Jouniari. Image from her campaign website

Although Coe filed for the District 2 seat on Jan. 24, she did not begin active campaigning until May, based on her financial reports.

Among her expenses in the latest report, Coe listed $330.74 to Campaign Graphics of Ocala for marketing products and $101.65 to Gateway Media of Sarasota for “Thank you cards.”

Reminiscent of Beggs’ fundraising in the District 4 race, Jouniari has received a number of small donations. They included amounts of $5, $10 and $20.18 in her latest report. Additionally, like Ramirez and Beggs, she has pulled in contributions from numerous retirees. However, she did note a $200 check from Realtor Lynn Nilssen in her latest report.

Retired New College professor Jono Miller also has contributed to Jouniari’s campaign.

Other than her filing fee for the race, Jouniari’s biggest expense in her report from June 23 through July 6 was $1,550 to the Beytin Agency in Arlington, Va., for campaign materials. She also paid Facebook $241 for “Media services,” and she listed a $200 expense for photography handled by Judith Horn of Sarasota.

1 thought on “Maio continues to lead the way in fundraising for District 4 County Commission race”

  1. Do we know specifically what ‘in kind’ contributions are? That’s a lot of kindness for Mr. Maio.

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