Ahead of possible AG run, Ross Spano steps up fundraising - Florida Politics

Ahead of possible AG run, Ross Spano steps up fundraising

Ross Spano may or may not be soon announcing a candidacy for Attorney General, but he was certainly in a more aggressive fundraising mood last month, collecting $13,000 for his campaign coffers. That’s the most he’s raised since January.

The Dover Republican is laying low since it was reported that he is considering joining fellow Hillsborough County Republican Ashley Moody, Jacksonville state Rep. Jay Fant and Pensacola state Rep. Frank White in the contest to succeed Pam Bondi.

Seven of the 17 contributions he received in October in his race for re-election come from political committees, while the rest of his contributors show an interesting dichotomy – with major backing from health care and/or pharmaceutical industries, as well as the alcohol and tobacco industries.

Making the donor roll with $1,000 checks were Florida Blue, pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Pfizer, R. J. Reynolds parent company RAI Services, and alcohol distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

Spending cam it at just $450 – $350 for accounting and $100 to WebElect.com.

Spano’s House District 59 seat was one that Florida Democrats thought they had a chance of winning in 2016, but Spano easily beat back a challenge from Democrat Rena Frazier, winning 54 to 46 percent.

Spano now has $51,000 in his campaign account, which he could use for a statewide bid. That would put him far behind Moody and Fant in fundraising.

Moody has through her regular campaign and PAC raised more than a million dollars, and has $1.1 million on hand between her campaign account and political committee.

Fant is close behind, though he has yet to file his October finance report, and much of his total comes from a $750,000 loan to his own campaign.

White has likewise has yet to file October numbers; he carried $76,000 over from his House re-election before he moved to the Attorney General partway through last month.

Spano would also be behind in securing endorsements, especially since he hails from the same area as Moody, who announced last week that she now has 20 endorsements from current Florida sheriffs, including most in the Tampa Bay region.

On the same day, White added his third such endorsement during his brief tenure in the race.

 

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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