Mast adds only $1,000 to County Commission campaign ‘kitty’ in May

Nichols files ‘Waiver of Report,’ while Pilon takes in $235

In May, for the first time since she began collecting campaign contributions this year, Sarasota resident and construction business owner Teresa Mast — who is running for the District 1 seat on the County Commission — added only $1,000 in a monthly document submitted to the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office.

The money she has gathered from supporters through May added up to $190,800, according to her latest report.

Mast retains a wide fundraising lead over her two Republican opponents in the race to win the seat that Commissioner Michael Moran will have to give up in November 2024 because of term limits. Former county Commissioner and Florida House member Ray Pilon’s total through May was $6,605, while the third candidate, Les Nichols, filed a Waiver of Report for May, meaning he did not take in any more money. His tally through April was $5,350. He had spent $2,166.70.

In the District 3 race, Republican Gregory Wood, a Realtor, also filed another Waiver of Report for May. So far, he has not taken in any contributions for his campaign to win the seat that was held by the late Commissioner Nancy Detert.

In her May report, Mast noted that she had received $1,000 from the Bradenton law firm of Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano. That is the firm that has been representing Schroeder-Manatee Ranch in its efforts to expand Lakewood Ranch into Sarasota County.

Mast’s report did show that one individual — Heather Eller, whose profession was identified as “healthcare,” gave Mast $1,000, as well, but that money was returned to Eller. Such campaign finance form entries generally are an indication that the person already has contributed a total of $1,000, which is the maximum allowed under state law.

Further, in her expenditures for May, Mast listed only a $400 payment to the Venice CPA firm of Robinson Gruters & Roberts. The Robinson is Eric Robinson, a past chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County. The Gruters is state Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota.

Altogether, Mast had spent $7,043.46 through May, the report says.

In his May report, Pilon listed only one new monetary contribution — $200 from a Sarasota retiree named George T. Hudson. Additionally, Pilon’s wife provided a $35 in-kind contribution for use of the Constant Contact email blast service.

As for his expenditures: Pilon listed $116.99 for May. That went to KAJ Consults LLC of Sarasota for website work for the campaign.

Altogether, Pilon had spent $750.05 through May.

The formal qualifying period for the 2024 County Commission races is Monday, June 10, 2024 through noon on Friday, June 14, 2024.