Mast’s contributions in District 1 County Commission race nearly reach $190,000 through end of April

Pilon’s total a little over $6,400, with Nichols’ funds adding up to $5,350

By the end of April, Teresa Mast, a Sarasota construction business owner and past chair of the Sarasota County Planning Commission, nearly hit the $190,000 mark in campaign contributions, as she seeks the District 1 County Commission seat that Commissioner Michael Moran will have to give up in November 2024 because of term limits.

Mast’s latest campaign finance report filed with the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections shows she took in another $9,000 in April, bringing her total since the start of this year to $189,800. The latest report also noted that she had spent only $6,643.46 through April.

Her opponents for the District 1 seat — former Florida Rep. Ray Pilon and county Citizen Tax Oversight Committee member Les Nichols — remain well behind her, the Supervisor of Elections Office records show. Pilon’s campaign contributions stood at $6,405 through April, while Nichols had a total of $5,350.

In the District 3 race, to win the seat that the late Commissioner Nancy Detert would have held until November 2024, the solitary candidate — Gregory Wood, a Realtor — submitted another waiver of contributions to Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner’s staff for April. Wood has yet to report receiving any financial support for his candidacy, even though The Sarasota News Leader has been unable to find any statement he has provided to say that he is eschewing contributions.

All four of those candidates are Republicans. The filing period for the 2024 County Commission races will end in June 2024. Thus, plenty of time remains for other individuals to enter the races.

Details of Mast’s latest report

In April, Mast collected another 15 contributions, seven of which were at the maximum level allowed by law — $1,000.

The persons and companies who gave her those contributions were Danny Nix of Port Charlotte, a commercial Realtor with Coldwell Banker; Sarasota restaurateur Michael Quillen, who owns the Gecko’s Hospitality Group; former County Commissioner Christine Robinson of Venice; Ping Faulhaber of Casey Key, who, with her husband, created the Faulhaber Fab Lab in Sarasota; the Mabry Carlton Ranch in Sidell; Septem Management I LLC, a real estate company with a Casey Key address; and David Sessions, the CEO of Willis A. Smith Construction in Lakewood Ranch, which has handled a number of county projects through the years.

The registered agent for Septem Management I is David L. Koche of Tampa, the Florida Division of Corporations says. Koche is a partner with the law firm of Barnett, Kirkwood, Long & Koche. The firm’s website says “he practices in the areas of estate planning, federal and state tax law and tax controversies, and aviation tax.”

Among other contributions, Mast received $150 from retired Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight; $400 from Andrew Peter, an investment adviser with Aegis Capital Corp. in Sarasota; and  $500 from Angela DeLong of Sarasota, who was identified on the form as a homemaker. DeLong lives in the Forest at Hi Hat Ranch, on the same street where Mast lives, according to Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s Office records.

In her April report, Mast also listed seven expenses. All but one of the payments went to Anedot of Baton Rouge, La., for the processing of contributions made by credit card. The largest of those expenses was $111.20.

She also paid $400 to the Venice CPA firm of Robinson Gruters & Roberts. The Robinson in that firm is Eric, past chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County and the husband of former Commissioner Christine Robinson.

Pilon’s and Nichols’ reports

In his April campaign finance report, Pilon listed seven contributions, the highest of which was $250. He received that amount from Scott Eller, CEO of Community Assisted & Supported Living (CASL), which has worked on affordable housing projects in the county to serve people who have been homeless; and from Sarasota retiree Regina Mann.

Additionally, Pilon took in $100 apiece from Seery Realty Inc. in North Port and Kristina Sargent, who was identified as “Protected Voter.”

That designation is used for former law enforcement officers and officers of the court, in an effort to protect them from individuals with whom they may have had contact during their careers.

Pilon’s April report further noted that he had spent $633.06 through that month. Four of his five payments in April went to Piryx Rally of San Francisco for processing fees. He also paid KAJ Consults $15.99 to maintain his campaign website.

Nichols’ April report listed 13 contributions, which ranged from $50 to $500. The latter amount came from Island Real Estate in Holmes Beach. Both Longboat Key property manager Bobby Venerable, who is associated with the En Provence condominium complex, and Harman Custom Painting in Venice gave Nichols $200.

Additionally, Sarasota musician Rick Riffen Miller performed at a musical event for Nichols, for which Miller provided a $300 in-kind contribution.

Nichols’ largest expense in April was $1,833, which he paid for an event at the Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, his report said.

He also made a $50 credit card payment to Capital One and a $19.19 payment to Gulfside Bank of Sarasota.

1 thought on “Mast’s contributions in District 1 County Commission race nearly reach $190,000 through end of April”

  1. Nothing against Theresa Mast, but when her campaign contributions are 17 times as much as the sum of her two competitors, it looks like she will be beholden to the big donating developers who will expect payback for their donations.

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