April 17, 2012 at 8:21 am
By Jonathan Mattise
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers
U.S. Rep. Allen West breezed past his local congressional race competition from January to the end of March by amassing another $1.8 million, including $10,500 from Martin and St. Lucie County residents.
The freshman Tea Party standout might have moved on to a different district race this quarter, but the same fundraising formula kept cash flowing in. West…s anti-Washington D.C. rhetoric helped solicit $850,000 in donations of $200 or less from checkbooks across the country.
West’s quarterly totals trumped Democrat Patrick Murphy’s campaign contributions five times over. But the 29-year-old Fort Lauderdale Democrat, who recently moved to Jupiter and is the second highest money-raiser in the race, is still one of the top 10 fundraising challengers nationwide. The CPA/businessman mustered $350,000 from supporters over the first three months of 2012. He’s raised $1.8 million so far for the race, and has spent about $726,000 of it.
Meanwhile, Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder tallied $26,800 in his first month and a half on the campaign trail. Crowder, who will try to take down West in a GOP primary, jumped in the race in mid-February. All but $5,300 of Crowder’s dollars originated from the Treasure Coast.
In the first quarter since West announced he’d run in St. Lucie, Martin and northern Palm Beach counties, 97 percent of West’s campaign cash came from individuals, not political action committees, his campaign reported. The first quarter brings West’s total dollars raised for election season to $7.7 million. Minus what he’s spent, West has $3.3 million left on hand.
Murphy spent $205,000 this quarter, and a chunk of it went toward various fundraising consulting services.
Fellow Democrats in line for the new District 18, Jim Horn of Palm City and Jerry Buechler of Port St. Lucie, didn’t report any fundraising to the Federal Election Commission.
The Plantation Republican also shelled out more than any of his competitors even raised this quarter. He spent $1.3 million — about $900,000 went toward direct mailings — and he…s already spent almost $5 million total on the campaign.
In a District 15 race for a seat including Indian River County, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey brought in another $181,600 from January through May. Democratic foe David Gunter from Melbourne brought in $14,000 of his own for a potential November showdown with Posey.
Democrat Shannon Roberts didn’t report any first quarter activity.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 18
U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation
Total contributions: $7,770,227
Total expenditures: $4,874,485
Contributions this period: $1,846,784
Expenditures this period: $1,230,899
Selected noteworthy contributions: Renting out campaign…s mailing list, $31,355; total contributions from 63 St. Lucie and Martin residents, $10,507; Alston and Bird PAC, $10,000; BOCAPAC, $5,000; American Bankers Association PAC, $2,000; Friends of Mark Foley campaign account, $2,000
Republican Robert Crowder
Total contributions (first quarter reported): $26,800
Total expenditures (first quarter reported): $967
Selected noteworthy contributions: Dennis Hudson, president of Seacoast National Bank, $500; Martin County Deputy Sheriff Marvin Mann, $500; Carol Waxler, former city of Stuart commissioner, $300; Martin County Sheriff…s Office attorney Terrance Nolan, $250; Sandy Thurlow, historian, $250; Rob Ranieri, chairman of Martin County Children…s Services Council and co-owner of The Firefly Group public relations firm, $250; total contributions from 36 St. Lucie and Martin County residents (including those listed above), $18,400
Democrat Patrick Murphy
Total contributions: $1,768,891
Total expenditures: $726,449
Contributions this period: $350,556
Expenditures this period: $205,254
Selected noteworthy contributions: New Democrat Coalition PAC, $10,000 total; Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress, $2,000; Sheet Metal Workers International Association, $5,000; former Gov. Charlie Crist, $1,000; Carole Crist, wife of Charlie Crist, $500; David Acton, Martin County senior assistant attorney, $500; St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara, $250; Mary Jo Tierney, Sunrise Ford owner/president, $500; Michael Wetzel, Sunrise Ford vice president/general manager, $250; total contributions from 11 St. Lucie and Martin County residents (including those listed above), $5,500
Democrat Jim Horn
No first quarter contributions/expenditures reported.
Democrat Jerry Buechler
No first quarter contributions/expenditures reported.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 15
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge
Total contributions: $688,756
Total expenditures: $310,735
Contributions this period: $181,627
Expenditures this period: $67,482
Selected key contributions: AFLAC Incorporated PAC, $2,500; American Bankers Association PAC, $3,500; American Crystal Sugar PAC, $10,000; Ernst & Young PAC, $3,000; RC Stork Properties LLC in Vero Beach, $5,000; Carmen Stork, partner in RC Stork Properties LLC, $2,500; Robert Stork, partner in RC Stork Properties LLC, $2,500; total contributions from 26 Indian River residents (including those listed above), $26,800
Democrat David Gunter
Total contributions: $26,964
Total expenditures: $13,127
Contributions this period: $13,983
Expenditures this period: $7,768
Selected noteworthy contributions: total contributions from eight Indian River residents, $505
Democrat Shannon Roberts
No first quarter contributions/expenditures reported