Dick Greco Jr. jumped with both feet into the money race in Tampa’s crowded mayoral election, but his first report isn’t promising.
The retired judge raised just over $19,000 since joining the race earlier this month, according to the most recent campaign finance reports.
While it’s not a bad two-week haul, most of it ($15,000 to be exact) came from his bank account.
That means Greco raised just $4,100. Not a great start for a candidate with just over a month to gain traction in his late-to-the-game campaign.
Greco collected $1,000 contributions from three donors — Age-Less Medicine, investor John Osterei and lawyer Frank De La Grana.
Greco’s only campaign expense so far was the $9,600 and some change for the qualifying fee to run.
Excluding David Straz’s mostly self-funded campaign, former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor is narrowly leading the money race with former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik nipping at her heels.
Castor raised more than $225,000. Turnanchik is just $3,000 behind. But Castor seems to have more fundraising momentum. She brought in a little more than $17,000 from January 1-18, according to financial reports filed Friday. Turanchik raised about $13,000 during the same period.
Castor is enjoying support from the law enforcement community, reporting several low-dollar contributions from those in uniform or retired. She also brought in six top-dollar donations of $1,000 each, the maximum allowable under election law.
Castor also posted her most significant spending yet in the campaign — shelling out about $74,000.
That includes $29,000 Deliver Strategies in Arlington, Virginia for advertising and $16,500 to Frederick Polls, presumably for internal polling. She also paid the nearly $10,000 qualifying fee and made payments for rent and staff.
Turanchik, meanwhile, spent about $33,000, which includes the qualifying fee and $7,500 on polling from SEA Polling. He also made payments to consultants including $2,500 to his son, John Turanchik and $2,700 to Blue Ticket Consulting.
While Straz, a retired wealthy businessman and philanthropist, dumped $1.5 million of his own money into his campaign, he’s also collecting campaign cash from supporters.
Straz raised about $9,000 during the latest reporting period. That includes a $250 contribution from Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick, a decent nod to the city’s African-American community and a key voting bloc. Straz also tapped recent union endorsements, pulling in $500 each from the local Ironworkers union PAC and the local electrical workers PAC.
Straz’s total earnings, including personal loans, sits at more than $1.6 million. Straz spent all but $200,000 of that. His January spending so far is indicative of his aggressive buying power, shelling out another $136,000.
Straz paid Washington D.C. based Fieldworks $38,000 for canvassing. Ironically, the company provides grassroots campaign strategies to those who can afford it.
He also shelled out more than $17,000 to the Tyson Organization in Texas for political consulting, another grassroots strategy shop.
Straz also cut a check to Jarrod Holbrook for campaign management and made several other small payments to about a dozen various campaign workers including Republican Peter Cracchiolo.
Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen also had a decent fundraising haul, bringing in nearly $15,000. That brings his total campaign take to $134,000.
Cohen received five top-dollar contributions from local developer DDA Development, businessman Philip Casey, doctors Steven Weissman and Sharon Stein and disbarred attorney Edward Rood. Rood was disbarred in 1993 following more than a decade’s worth of mounting ethics complaints.
Cohen spent $26,000 including the county qualifying fee and $10,000 in payments to staff.
Mike Suarez, who is also a current Tampa City Council member, and small business consultant Topher Morrison had not yet posted their latest reports as of the close of business Friday.