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Lee Lowry

Tampa Bay

Lee Lowry posts decent fundraising haul, still behind Bill Carlson

Lowry raise more than $12,000 in her early days of campaigning, $2,000 less than Carlson.

During her first two weeks of fundraising in the Tampa City Council District 4 race, Lee Lowry posted a decent showing.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to put a dent in the lead already amassed by her two opponents.

Taking in more than $12,000 in her early days of campaigning, Republican Lowry was still $2,000 less than her Democratic opponent, Bill Carlson. Carlson raised $14,500 from January 1-18, according to the most recent campaign finance documents filed Friday.

Lowry entered the race earlier this month, leaving a lot of ground to cover in the money race for the South Tampa district. Carlson’s total fundraising haul so far is $84,000.

Another Republican running for District 4, Sal Guagliardo, raised $31,000 and posted just $200 in earnings during the latest period.

While City Council races are nonpartisan, many voters consider political affiliation when determining who to support.

Lowry brought in a $1,000 contribution from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s One Florida PAC. Buckhorn immediately endorsed Lowry after she filed. Ed Miyagishima, a former big name in Florida politics after working for former Gov. Rick Scott after he beat Alex Sink in the now-Senator’s first bid for elected office.

Few other big names cut checks to candidates in the District 4 race. Former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford cut a check to Carlson for $500.

Carlson dug deep in spending during the latest reporting period shelling out $24,000, most for advertising. He paid Parsons Wilson for about $18,000 for advertising. Carlson has been running ads featuring his three sons.

All three candidates shelled out the nearly $2,800 filing fee required to run. Other than a handful of credit card fees, that’s all Lowry has spent so far.

Guagliardo spent $2,500 on campaign marketing and another $2,200 for yard signs.

Lowry is the lead fundraiser for Hillsborough Community College’s Foundation. Carlson is President of Tucker Hall, a public relations and marketing firm. Guagliardo works for his family’s dairy business.

The three are running to unseat Harry Cohen who is leaving office due to term limits and running for mayor.

The election is March 5 with a runoff, if necessary, scheduled for April 23.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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