Shoffstall brought in close to $89,000 in City Commission campaign, putting him in first place among 6 candidates in fundraising, though he finished fourth in voting

Incumbent Ahearn-Koch received almost $55,000 as top vote-getter in Aug. 23 Primary for two at-large seats

The Sarasota City Commission candidates’ final campaign finance reports filed ahead of the Aug. 23 Primary Election show that Carl Shoffstall, president of the Lido Key Residents Association, was the top recipient of support among the six individuals vying for the two at-large seats.

Shoffstall’s total was $88,700, according to the form filed for the period of Aug. 6-18. The document also shows that Shoffstall had spent $81,933.58, which meant translates into close to $35 per vote that he won.

He finished fourth in the Primary Election, with 2,342 votes, making him ineligible for the Nov. 8 General Election.

The top three finishers by vote total were Commissioner Jen Ahearn-Koch, 7,075; Debbie Trice, past president of the Rosemary District Association, 3,991; and attorney Dan Lobeck, president of the nonprofit Control Growth Now, 3,877. Shoffstall received 2,342 votes, as shown in the unofficial results on the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office website.

Ahearn-Koch’s campaign finance report for Aug. 6-18 put her contributions at $54,910; she had spent $30,418.42.

Trice’s campaign had received $27,755 as of her report for Aug. 6-18, while her expenditures totaled $22,034.74.

Lobeck’s filing for Aug. 6-18 put his contribution total at $30,992.22, with his expenditures adding up to $27,201.01.

Terrill L. Salem, chair of the city’s Planning Board, was fifth in the voting on Aug. 23, winning support on 1,550 ballots. His campaign finance report for Aug. 6-18 said his contributions added up to $7,885 through that period, with expenditures totaling $3,643.50.

Sheldon Rich, a member of the city’s Police Complaint Committee, was in sixth place in the Aug. 23 voting, with 1,545 ballots cast in support of his campaign, the unofficial results say. His campaign finance records reported that he received no more contributions after the period of July 30 through Aug. 5. He had raised a total of $7,401.29 and spent $3,606.05 through Aug. 5, that report noted.

In his final campaign finance summary, which the City Auditor and Clerk’s Office received on Aug. 24, Rich showed that he had spent all of the funds that he had received.

Details in the financial reports

Shoffstall’s Aug. 6-18 filing showed that he raised another $20,400 during that period and spent $21,723.64. He listed 26 contributions, with only nine of them less than $1,000.

Among the entities and individuals listed in that report, the Realtors Political Activity Committee, based in Tallahassee, gave Shoffstall $1,000, while the Realtors Political Action Committee — also headquartered in Tallahassee — gave him $1,000, and the Realtors Political Advocacy Committee, based in Orlando, gave him $1,000.

Additionally, John Hutchens of Casto Vacation Properties, a developer, contributed $1,000, as did both attorney William Merrill III of the Icard Merrill firm in Sarasota and Merrill’s wife, Karen. Bill Merrill often represents developers in applications for development in the city and in Sarasota County.

Matthew Brockway, another Icard Merrill attorney, and his wife, Megan, gave Shoffstall $750 apiece, while the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and Hembree & Associates of Sarasota, a commercial real estate agency, each contributed $500.

Among his expenses in that final period before the Primary, Shoffstall paid a total of $19,223.64 to People Who Think in Mandeville, La., for campaign mailers.

From Aug. 6-18, Ahearn-Koch added $625, from six people, in regular contributions and $67.20 in an in-kind contribution for stamps, thanks to Sarasota resident Barbara Campo. The regular contributions ranged from $25 to $100.

Ahearn-Koch’s only expense in that report was $73.46, which went to Worldpay Holding LLC of Symmes Township, Ohio, for processing fees.

From Aug. 6-18, Lobeck took in another $4,925 in contributions from 21 people; the amounts ranged from $25 to $1,000. He also loaned his campaign $4,000, the report notes.

Both Max D. Puyanic, CEO of Commodore Realty in Key Biscayne, and Puyanic’s wife, Jennie, gave Lobeck $1,000.

Sarasota actor Carolyn Michel gave $250 to Ahearn-Koch and to Lobeck in that period of Aug. 6-18, the reports show.

In her report for Aug. 6-18, Trice added $150 from two people. Her biggest single expense was $6,452.86, paid to Street sMartz Consulting in Jacksonville for campaign mailers.

In her prior report — for the period of July 30 to Aug. 5 — Trice did note that she had loaned $5,000 to her campaign.

Salem reported raising another $1,300 from Aug. 6 to Aug. 18, his report says. Those funds came from six people, the form shows, with amounts from $100 to $500. The latter amount came from Willem Louis, a mechanical contractor in Venice.

Salem’s biggest expense in that period was $1,085.99, which went to VistaPrint of Waltham, Mass., for yard signs.

In Rich’s last campaign finance filing, he reported $181.29 in contributions and listed only one expense: $3.93 paid to ActBlue of Sommerville, Mass., for processing fees.

Leave a Comment