Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister has put nearly $750,000 into the political committee established to fuel his next election.
The Friends of Chad Chronister committee added $162,000 to its coffers in November, according to the most recent financial filings with the Florida Division of Elections.
Chronister took in several high dollar contributions including $23,000 from Oldsmar developer Todd Adams and $10,000 each from Forge Capital Partners co-founder Peter Collins, the Edward Swindle Revocable Trust and Capital Asset Management Professionals Principal Henri Jean.
The Caspers Company, which owns numerous McDonald’s franchises throughout the region, contributed $5,000. The Republican Party of Florida donated $2,500.
Chronister’s committee received a $37,000 in-kind contribution from Edward DeBartolo for food and beverages. Chronister is married to DeBartolo’s daughter, Nikki DeBartolo.
Chronister’s committee has spent just $15,000 so far.
One candidate has filed to challenge Chronister, Gary Pruitt. Pruitt lost to Chronister in 2018 and said early on he would run again in 2020. While Pruitt is filed for the race, he has not yet raised any funds.
Chronister was first elected with bipartisan support, a trend he plans to continue in his 2020 campaign.
“I want to be a Sheriff for our entire community,“ Chronister said. “Winning an election for Sheriff requires support from Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, but being Sheriff means treating every person regardless of their political affiliation, religion, or race with dignity and respect.”
Former Gov. Rick Scott appointed Chronister in 2017 and he won election in 2018.
“Being Sheriff is not about advancing a politically polarizing agenda,“ Chronister said. “Instead of worrying about partisan politics, I have spent my time in law enforcement prioritizing public safety, creating crime reduction strategies and developing meaningful, long-lasting relationships in this great community, “
Since taking office, Chronister has overseen some changes to the agency including increasing awareness, better preventing human trafficking and enforcing laws against it, expanding drug treatment programs and developing mental health treatment programs. Chronister has also overseen new vocational programs at the county jail.
Chronister has also been committed to hiring a diverse workforce. He achieved a 60% diversity rate in the agency’s hiring over the past two and a half years.
Chronister has worked with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 1992.
“I am proud to have such a wide range support of so many people who value public safety over partisan politics,” Chronister said.
“Over 29 years ago, I took an oath to serve and protect our residents. I wake up every day with that in mind. I’m humbled by the support and thankful that others recognize the stellar job our law enforcement professionals are doing.”