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Ray Christman (left) and Bill Moss (right) dominate fundraising in a Naples City Council election.

SW Florida

Bill Moss, Ray Christman boast massive fundraising leads in Naples Council race

Special election scheduled for April 2.

In a wealthy community like Naples, a special election for City Council was bound to get pricey. And two of the candidates, Ray Christman and Bill Moss, look to spend luxury amounts.

Naples residents will vote in a rare special election April 2, after the resignation of Nancy Penman over family health issues.

Four candidates — Christman, Moss, Ted Blankenship and George Dondanvillequalified to run. To date, more than $65,000 has been raised collectively by the candidates, with $60,000 coming from the two fundraising leaders.

So far, it’s Moss, a former Naples City Manager, who has raised the most. Through the end of February, Moss raised $35,225. That has largely come from individual donations, though he notably picked up donations from London Bay Construction. He put in $1,000 of his own money to get the race started.

Ted Blankenship

George Dondanville

He has hired Naples-based consulting firm C2 Communications to work with his campaign. Moss only retired from the office in January after serving in the city manager’s post for a decade, according to the Naples Daily News.

But Christman, former executive director of the Ethics Naples political committee, also brings fundraising power to the race. Through the end of February, he has raised $24,785. That includes a contribution from Lehmann Consulting and other business owners and individual donors. It also includes a $500 candidate loan.

Those two candidates were the only ones bringing in five-digit hauls for the election. But Blankenship, a private investor, and Dondanville, a retired business owner, aren’t sitting on their hands.

Blankenship through the end of February raised $3,710 with all but $200 of that coming from his own pocket.

Dondanville has raised $2,850, primarily through individual donations. He has put about $600 of his own money into the race.

The candidates have already met for two public forums, including one Wednesday that focused largely on the Naples Beach Hotel redevelopment, according to the Daily News.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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