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After—but not because of—Nigerian scam, Lenny Curry shutters political committee

Nothing lasts forever. Political committees are no exception to that rule.

Build Something that Lasts,” the statewide political committee of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, is out of commission.

The committee’s name came out of Curry’s father urging him during the 2015 campaign to “build something that lasts.” Not long after Curry assumed office in 2015, the committee was launched.

The committee was closed in early October, as Action News Jax first reported, but not before becoming statewide news for an unusual series of transactions.

Earlier this year, the Florida Times-Union was first to report that Curry’s committee was $120,000 poorer after its treasurer wired the money to four different addresses across the country at the behest of a political consultant.

The consultant’s computer was hacked out of Nigeria and the phone hoaxer was in Luxembourg, adding to the mystery.

Treasurer Eric Robinson donated to another political committee he runs (“Making a Better Tomorrow”), which then gave some of the money back to Curry’s committee.

Making a Better Tomorrow gave Curry’s committee $40,000 in August 2017 and another $50,000 by the end of the year, which made up the bulk of the money.

Transfers between the committees went both ways, however. Build Something had moved $70,000 to Better Tomorrow in 2015.

Curry’s campaign told Action News Jax that the Nigerian scam had nothing to do with the committee closing. And Curry’s fundraising machine is still in high gear, with the scam in the rearview mirror.

The first-term Republican Mayor in September raised $789,500 for his local political committee (Jacksonville on the Rise), and another $26,600 for his campaign account.

Curry, a former chair of the Florida GOP, is now nearing $3 million on hand and $3.5 million raised, with plenty of time to raise more before the March 2019 first election (a blanket primary).

The committee has $2,415,000 on hand of the $2,928,000 it has raised. The campaign account has over $440,000 of the $455,330 raised.

Curry currently lacks much in the way of competition. His five March opponents have raised under $3,000 between them.

If no candidate finishes above 50.0001 percent, there will be a May runoff in the general election.

While Jacksonville City Councilors Anna Brosche and Garrett Dennis are both mulling runs for the office, neither has floated concrete plans.

Qualifying is in January, so the two have until then for further contemplation.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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