Nichols gives his campaign $500 in contributions, with Pilon loaning $1,000 to his campaign
Republican Teresa Mast, a former member of the Sarasota County Planning Commission, and a long-time county employee prior to that, has well exceeded her two Republican competitors in raising funds in their first month after filing for the 2024 race for the District 1 seat on the Sarasota County Commission, The Sarasota News Leader has learned.
Records filed, as required, with the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office show Mast collected $46,150 in monetary contributions in January. Les Nichols of Sarasota reported $1,500 in contributions, $500 of which he provided; while former state House member and county commissioner Ray Pilon of Sarasota listed $1,000, which he loaned to his campaign.
Mast, who owns a construction company called the Davin Group, also is a member of the board of directors of the Manatee-Sarasota Business Industry Association (MSBIA). Her husband, Jon, is executive director of that organization.
Among those who gave Mast the maximum contribution of $1,000, as listed in her January report, were the Gabbert Investment Group of Sarasota, whose principal is James Gabbert, along with Gabbert’s wife, Lori, and three other companies associated with the Gabberts: Indian Lakes SRQ, Fly Fox Leasing LLC of Sarasota, and M&G Investment Properties LLC.
Multiple companies associated with developer Pat Neal of Neal Communities in Lakewood Ranch also gave her $1,000 apiece: Flagship National Property Group, Gamble Creek LLC, Wilmington Land Co., Border Road Investments LLC, Neal Land & Neighborhoods and Vistera Associates LLC.
Thus, The Sarasota News Leader calculated that $10,000 of Mast’s January total came from the Neal family and its companies.
Further, companies associated with Hugh Culverhouse, the developer of Palmer Ranch in Sarasota, contributed $1,000 apiece, for a total of $10,000: HFC East General Partner Inc., Joy M. Culverhouse Inc., McCann Holdings Ltd., Cheshire Hunt Inc., Palmer Management Inc., Palmer Ranch Holdings Inc., Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd., SRH Hunt Inc., Wynnstay Hunt Inc. and Culverhouse Limited Partnership.
Another $10,000 came from numerous companies associated with the developer of Lakewood Ranch, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, including that entity itself. The others were Lakewood Ranch Golf Co., LWR Commercial Realty LLC, LWR Communities LLC, LWR Development LLC, Braden River Utilities LLC, SMR Communities Joint Venture, SMR Farms LLC, SMR North 70 LLC, and SMR Northwest Land LLC.
John Cannon of Cannon Homes and his wife, Phillipa Cannon, along with their business, also gave Mast $1,000 each.
Further, Jeff Jackson, CEO of PGT Industries in Venice; Halfacre Construction Co. of Lakewood Ranch; Clearview Land Design in Tampa; and the Ramba Consulting Group LLC and Ramba Law Group, both with the Tallahassee address of 120 S. Monroe St., gave Mast $1,000 apiece.
Mast herself provided an in-kind contribution of $39.14 for materials for her campaign, the report shows.
The report did note $204.86 in expenses in January. Almost all of that went to the Baton Rouge, La., firm Anedot for credit card processing fees, the report shows. The only other expense listed was $87.86 for campaign checking supplies.
Details of Nichols’ and Pilon’s reports
Only two contributions are listed in Nichols’ report for January. He gave $500 to his campaign, and Darrin Caldwell of Ellenton, whose occupation was noted as “business development,” gave Nichols $1,000.
Nichols also reported spending $155.27 in January. Of that amount, $126.37 went to Vista Print in Waltham, Mass., for advertising.
In his January report, Pilon listed four contributions, including a $1,000 loan that he made to his campaign, plus a $99 in-kind contribution for web design and maintenance.
His wife, Kathleen Pilon, also provided two in-kind contributions, the report says: $24.34 for domain hosting services and $16 to cover the fee for opening a credit union account.
Additionally, Ray Pilon listed a total of $108.39 in expenses. He paid Sir Speedy $90.29 for printing, and he spent $18.10 for checks.