Bill Galvano-led political committee spending big to spotlight Tommy Hazouri endorsement of Lenny Curry
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Councilman Tommy Hazouri made the list!

Curry Hazouri
The Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is paying $170,000 to spotlight the ad.

Democrats are crossing party lines in the Jacksonville mayoral race by necessity because the party didn’t put forward a candidate this cycle.

And further spotlighting the issues with the local party: the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is paying $170,000 to spotlight an ad spotlighting a former Democratic Mayor endorsing the Republican incumbent.

The ad will be on broadcast and cable, its distribution taking advantage of the Democrat’s high name recognition, and giving him free air time as he runs for re-election to the Jacksonville City Council.

But even if they hadn’t put that money in, it’s likely that former Democratic Mayor Tommy Hazouri would have cut a TV spot for Republican incumbent Lenny Curry anyway.

The FRSCC spot was part of a “three-pack,” a way that state parties can devote resources to local races. Curry benefited from such in 2015 as a challenger, and now is as an incumbent.

Hazouri has worked well with Curry since the 2016 countywide referendum to restructure the city’s $3 billion-plus pension debt.

The latest ad shows the two collaborating, with Hazouri lauding Curry for “crossing the aisle” and working with Democrats.

Hazouri has demonstrated antipathy for Curry’s major opponent in the race, Republican Councilwoman Anna Brosche. For a variety of reasons, that distaste seems to be mutual.

Expect Hazouri’s pro-Curry ad to be on television for much of the early part of February. Curry, as we know, has the bankroll. Hazouri, running for re-election in an at-large race, can only benefit from the exposure.

Figures released Wednesday afternoon show that Curry raised a million dollars in two weeks, a clear message sent to his comparatively undercapitalized opposition.

The bulk of Curry’s haul ($991,500) went to his Jacksonville on the Rise political committee.

Among the donors: JEA CEO Aaron Zahn ($10,000); former Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver ($50,000); Sheriff Mike Williams‘ lead campaign consultant Kent Stermon ($7,500); Peter Rummell ($12,500 solo, and another $12,500 via RummellMunz Partners); J.B. Coxwell ($50,000); Gary Chartrand ($25,000); Brian Ballard/Ballard Partners ($10,000 total); local police and fire unions ($50,000 combined); and Sen. Travis Hutson‘s family business ($25,000).

Political committees weighed in also, a totem of Curry’s statewide backing.

Future House Speaker Paul Renner‘s Florida Foundation for Liberty came through with $10,000. The Liberty Leadership Fund ($25,000) likewise ponied up.

House Speaker Jose Oliva, via his Conservative Principles for Florida committee, delivered $50,000. And Chris Sprowls went $10,000 in, via his Floridians for Economic Freedom committee.

Curry’s committee has nearly $2.7 million on hand. His campaign account has just over $400,000, giving him over $3 million to deploy ahead of the March election. With two more big fundraisers next week (Casey DeSantis and Shad Khan), the Mayor is poised to deliver another massive haul.

Brosche has raised just shy of $400,000: nearly $53,000 in hard money, and $325,000 to her political committee.

Curry’s team has a messaging strategy that may have rolled out more quickly if Brosche had ramped up as expected. What’s clear is that Brosche is hoping to compress the narrative of the campaign with whatever her final spend ends up being, as her campaign has yet to have a media buy.

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



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