Moran well ahead of incumbent Ford-Coates in campaign contributions for tax collector’s race, latest reports show

Second Republican candidate, Bear, reports solitary contribution he made to his campaign

Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates. File image

In her first campaign finance filing since she announced her re-election bid last year, Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, a Democrat, noted that she raised a total of $27,620 in the first quarter of this year, plus $1,032.19 in in-kind contributions.
Ford-Coates had spent only $323.79 through March, the document shows.

One of her opponents, Republican county Commissioner Michael Moran, added $11,575 to his tally in the first three months of this year, bringing his campaign total to $100,385. Moran had spent $15,484 through March, the report says. Moran is term-limited as a commissioner, having won his first term in November 2016.

The third candidate for Sarasota County tax collector, Republican Charles Bear, contributed $1,000 to his campaign in the first quarter. That was the only funding he reported for this year., bringing his total to $1,124.70. He had spent $704.99 through March: $500 to TC Delivers of Jacksonville for signature cards; and $204.99 to VistaPrint for business cards, his report notes.

Bear and Moran will square off in the Aug. 20 Republican Primary for tax collector.

Although Ford-Coates formally filed for re-election on Jan. 11, her campaign did not issue a press release about her candidacy until March 4.

“Serving as your Tax Collector has been an honor and an exciting challenge,” Ford-Coates said in that release.

“The Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office is responsible for collecting property, business & tourist taxes, issuing drivers’ licenses & vehicle registrations, hunting & fishing licenses, as well as other state and local services,” the release points out. “Results matter, and under Ford-Coates’ leadership, the office provides these services efficiently and with exceptional customer service. With a staff of 100 exceptional individuals, and a budget of $10+million, Ford-Coates maintains the lowest cost per capita of all Tax Collectors in Florida,” the release adds.

“Mrs. Ford-Coates has been honored numerous times for her dedication and accomplishments,” the release continues. “Governor Lawton Chiles appointed her to the 1998 Constitution Revision Commission. In 2008, she was named the Outstanding Tax Collector in the United States. When the Girl Scouts celebrated their centennial, Ford-Coates was named one of 100 Girl Scout Greats, and in 2016, she was named by Thomson Reuters as a Public Sector Champion for Excellence in Office Leadership.”

“I hope the voters want to keep the same quality of service and efficiency they have experienced when visiting my office,” Ford-Coates said in the release.

Ford-Coates’ report

In her first-quarter filing, Ford-Coates did note that she gave her campaign $500, and she added $498.69 as in-kind contributions for campaign supplies, including signs, brochures, stationery and stamps, plus a website domain.

Two other in-kind contributions are included in the report: Keith Mercier, a Sarasota insurance broker, provided $200 for beverages for a campaign kickoff event, and Morton’s Gourmet Market in Sarasota added $333.50 for the food.

Altogether, Ford-Coates listed 63 other contributions, ranging from $20 up to the maximum amount of $1,000.

Palmer Ranch developer Hugh Culverhouse Jr. and a member of his family, plus several companies he serves as principal, gave Ford-Coates a “bundle” of $10,000.

Sarasota County Chief Deputy Tax Collector Sherri Smith and Smith’s husband, Kevin, gave Ford-Coates $1,000 apiece, the form shows.

Others who contributed that amount were Matt Mercier, a partner with CBIZ Insurance Services in Sarasota; retirees Susan Erhart and Eileen Scudder of Sarasota; CPAs Laura and Caroline Strickland of Sarasota; and retiree John Strickland of Sarasota.

The largest single expense Ford-Coates listed was $69.40, paid to Bank of America for campaign checks.

All of the rest of her first quarter expenditures went to PayPal for transaction fees.

Moran’s latest contributions

Mike Moran. Image ifrom his campaign YouTube video.

In his first report for this year, Moran listed 15 contributions, with five political committees listed as giving him $1,000 apiece: Coalition for Better Care, Floridians for Positive Change, Citizens for Principled Leadership, Campus Free Speech and Voters for Economic Growth. All have the same Tallahassee address — 120 S. Monroe St. That is the address of the Ramba Consulting Group LLC, whose principal is attorney/lobbyist David Ramba.

Additionally, Moran received $1,000 apiece from Frances LaCivita, wife of Frank LaCivita, president and CEO of Willis A. Smith Construction in Sarasota; Philip Kellogg of Sarasota, president of the Kellogg & Kimsey general contracting firm; attorney Douglas Manson of Tampa; the Sarasota Manatee Defense Fund political committee, also with a Tallahassee address; and retiree Paul Marshall of Sarasota.

Further, Moran listed contributions of $500 each from Robert Waechter, a past chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County; and attorney Charles D. Bailey III, who routinely represents developers in land-use applications that the County Commission considers.

As for expenses: The largest total went to Campaign Graphics of Sedona, Ariz., for yard signs: $6,294.28. Moran also paid $963 to Dorsett Signs of Venice for campaign signs, the document says.

Additionally, Moran reimbursed himself $4,094.38 for the costs associated with an event, including the food and beverages; plus rent payments for storage; and website work.

1 thought on “Moran well ahead of incumbent Ford-Coates in campaign contributions for tax collector’s race, latest reports show”

  1. Of course Moran leads in campaign contributions – in appreciation for his two terms as commissioner of serving every whim of the developers (including their gang member lawyers and building trade partners). I don’t know how they expect to benefit from having “their guy” as the tax collector, but they must have a plan. Why else would they challenge the leadership of almost the only Sarasota County manager not even accused of corruption?

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