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interim Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister

Tampa Bay

Chad Chronister has $540K on hand for bid for full term as Hillsborough Sheriff

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Oct. 2 he would run for election in 2018, and his first campaign finance report shows more than $300,000 in contributions.

The newly filed report shows $305,890 raised and $10,716 spent through his first 30 days on the trail, leaving him with $295,174 on hand.

Chronister, a Republican, has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 1992 and was a colonel before the retirement of longtime lawman David Gee earlier this year, which landed him the job as interim sheriff. He filed for election a day after he was sworn in.

Shortly after filing, he announced a fundraiser featuring a couple hundred names on the host committee, including dozens of Tampa Bay area politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Among his donors last month were mega-lobbyist Michael Corcoran, the GrayRobinson law-lobby firm, Brandon attorney Clifton Curry, and multiple checks from former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo and his businesses.

Among Chronister’s expenditures was an $7,964 payment to the Italian Club in Ybor City, where his fundraiser was hosted, with the remaining expenditures paying for toward checks from The Bank of Tampa and credit card fees through fundraising platform Anedot.

A committee backing Chronister, Law Enforcement For Responsible Government, has also been piling on cash. Through Oct. 31 it had raised $246,850 and had nearly all of that money on hand.

The DeBartolo family provided a big boost when the committee started in August, and in October Edward DeBartolo was the top donor after putting in another $20,000.

So far, he is the only Republican running for sheriff. Other candidates include Democrat Gary Pruitt, a retired Tampa Police Department corporal who now works in private security, and no-party candidate Juan Rivera, a retired Central Intelligence Agency officer.

Pruitt filed for the race last week, so has not yet posted a campaign finance report. Rivera filed in June and had raised $722 through the end of August.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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