Politics and checkbooks: Fundraising trends in Jax City Council races
Jacksonville City Hall.

Jax City Hall

Jacksonville City Council fundraising is picking up, less than a year before the March election. Below are ten insights (in no hierarchical order) into trends we are seeing in local races.


Ron Salem holds serve: In the now-three-way race between Republicans Ron Salem and Bill Bishop and recently-filed Democrat Darren Mason in At Large Group 2, Salem continues to control the money.

Just over $5,500 of March money pushed Salem close to $157,000 between hard money and committee cash. While fundraising has slowed for Salem, he’s well ahead of Bishop, whose $500 March leaves the former councilman with just over $12,000 on hand.

The big story was Mason’s failure to launch; a $730 month leaves him with just over $500 on hand.


Matt Carlucci takes fundraising break: After a $29,000 March, At Large Group 4 Republican Matt Carlucci is taking a break from fundraising. He has reached his campaign budget of $250,000.

The former district Councilman is well ahead of another former councilman, Don Redman, whose March launch netted him just $3,950. The donor class is with Carlucci.


Al Ferraro keeps banking: No one will challenge Republican Al Ferraro in deep-red District 2, but the fundraising continues. Ferraro had $28,750 raised against $25.75 spent after March’s $17,950.


Cumber keeps flexing: Even with an underwhelming $4,500 March, LeAnna Cumber continued to bank, with over $170,000 on hand. Democrat James Jacobs still has $473.28 on hand.


Boylan makes up ground: In district 6, former WJCT CEO Michael Boylan is still behind Chamber candidate Rose Conry, but Boylan outraised Conry in March. Boylan raised $11,400, in his second straight month over five figures in fundraising. Conry raised $2,275.

Despite the reversal in fortunes in March, Conry still holds leads in total money raised ($69,635 to $41,875) and cash on hand (approximately $63,400 to roughly $31,400).


Gaffney builds a lead: District 7 incumbent Reggie Gaffney continues to build a cash lead against the field. The Democrat has $33,000 on hand after $6,100 raised in March from eight checks from people like J.B. Coxwell and Michael Balanky’s “Kings Avenue Development.” His closest competition, Sharise Riley, has given her own campaign $8,400, an effort which has under $7,000 on hand.


Holly leads incumbent Brown: In District 8, Tameka Gaines Holly has nearly $16,000 on hand after bringing in $2,894 in March. Running behind: Albert Wilcox, who has just over $6,500 on hand, and Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, who has nearly $5,000 on hand … including an interesting donation from Jacksonville trial lawyer Eddie Farah.

Meanwhile, whither the incumbent? Katrina Brown put up a goose egg in March. Against a crowded field with candidates raising money, Brown needed a quicker start than she got last month, in her first month of fundraising.


District 10 mess: For those wanting to get money out of politics, the District 10 race offers a unique illustration. Only one of the six candidates (Kevin Monroe) has more than $1,000 on hand. Surprising that property or union interests aren’t floating a candidate, bankrolling him and her for reliable votes on issues that may come before the council. But there’s still time.


White, Diamond build war chests: District 12 and 13 Republicans Randy White and Rory Diamond continue to build campaign accounts with no opposition filed. In March, White brought in $9,210 with max donations from the police and fire unions; he has over $78,000 on hand.

Diamond, whose campaign is being handled by Lenny Curry‘s political advisor Tim Baker,  banked another respectable month of fundraising in March, raising $8,350. He now has raised $119,000, with over $117,000 on hand.


Gettinger makes up ground: In the House District 14 race, Democrat Sunny Gettinger made up some ground in March against Republican Randy Defoor, even as Defoor still holds the lead.

Gettinger brought in $13,450 in March, and she has over $43,000 on hand.

Defoor brought in $4,250 in March, continuing a trend of middling fundraising. In 2018, she has raised under $10,000.

However, Defoor still has over $91,000 on hand.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • NO JEA sale

    April 16, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Curry was born in Key West.[1] He later grew up in Middleburg, Florida and graduated from Middleburg High School. Curry began his higher education at St. Johns River Community College, then transferred to the University of Florida and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accounting.[2] He married his wife, Molly, in 2005. They have three children: Boyd, Brook, and Bridgett.[3]

    From 1994 to 2002, he practiced as a certified public accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. In 2002, he co‐founded a Jacksonville-based professional services firm, ICX Group Inc., providing finance and accounting consulting, executive recruiting, and staffing services.

    On June 3, 2014, Curry filed to run in the Jacksonville mayoral election in 2015. He decided to enter the race because beginning in late 2012 and early 2013, he began hearing about “leadership troubles” under incumbent Democratic mayor Alvin Brown.[3]

    • Concerned Northeast Florida Resident

      April 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm

      All faithful Christians should be alarmed by candidate Rory Diamond’s ability to “buy” his way onto the Jacksonville City Council. After all, Diamond is a homosexual from California who has a history of raising lots of $$$ from “LGBT-friendly” donors. We need to be awakened to the threat that this “Log Cabin” RINO — Republican In Name Only — poses to Christians in Jacksonville! If elected, I could imagine Rory “bullying” Christian city employees in a similar fashion to the way in which liberal NJ Democratic Senator Cory Booker viciously attacked Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo’s Christian faith on national television:

      CB: Sir, I have a minute left, because I do want to give you a chance to speak about your comments about gays and lesbians. You said in a speech, that, mourning an America that “endorses a perversion and calls it an alternative lifestyle” – those are your words. Is being gay a perversion?

      MP: Senator, when I was a politician I had a very clear view on whether it was appropriate for two same sex persons to marry. I stand by that.

      CB: So you don’t think it’s appropriate for two gay people to marry?

      MP: Senator I continue to hold that view, it’s the same view for the record…

      CB: And so people in the State Department that are married under your leadership – you don’t believe that that should be allowed?

      MP: We have, I believe it’s the case that we have married gay couples at the CIA. I treated them with the exact same set of rights

      CB: Do you believe gay sex is a perversion? Yes or no? [Crosstalk] Because that’s what you said here in one of your speeches.

      MP: Senator I’m going to give you the same answer here that I gave you previously. My respect for every individual regardless of their sexual orientation is the same, and it will continue to be so if I am confirmed.

      A conservative Christian NEEDS to run against Booker’s Jacksonville clone, a.k.a. Rory Diamond! BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING!

      P.S. I wonder who is spamming this blog post under the moniker “NO JEA sale” in order to “bury” unfavorable comments about Diamond’s candidacy? Hmm…who could it be??? Tim Baker? Diamond himself? It’s SAD that free speech has become dead in this country!

  • NO JEA sale

    April 16, 2018 at 9:16 am

    The St. Johns River (Spanish: Río San Juan) is the longest river in the U.S. state of Florida and its most significant one for commercial and recreational use. At 310 miles (500 km) long, it winds through or borders twelve counties, three of which are the state’s largest. The drop in elevation from headwaters to mouth is less than 30 feet (9 m); like most Florida waterways, the St. Johns has a very low flow rate 0.3 mph (0.13 m/s) and is often described as “lazy”.[2] Popular belief in the St. Johns area holds that it is one of the few rivers that flow north, although north-flowing rivers are common.[3] Numerous lakes are formed by the river or flow into it, but as a river its widest point is nearly 3 miles (5 km) across. The narrowest point is in the headwaters, an unnavigable marsh in Indian River County. The St. Johns drainage basin of 8,840 square miles (22,900 km2) includes some of Florida’s major wetlands.[4][5] It is separated into three major basins and two associated watersheds for Lake George and the Ocklawaha River, all managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District.

  • NO JEA sale

    April 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

    About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U.S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south.[12] The American alligator, American crocodile, Florida panther, and manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, and is the only continental U.S. state with a tropical climate.

    Since the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León – who named it Florida, informally La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] “land of flowers”) upon landing there in the Easter season, Pascua Florida[13] – Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, and racial segregation after the American Civil War.

    Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues. The state’s economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees.

    Florida’s close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of Florida culture and daily life. Florida is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; African, European, indigenous, and Latino heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes. It is internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing and water sports.

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