The Republican nominee for Hillsborough Tax Collector has loaned his campaign more than $100,000 since the start of the year, but it’s not clear where the money is coming from.
Campaign finance records show TK Mathew has staked his campaign with a combined $100,500 across four installments. The figure represents 98% of the $102,790 he has raised since entering the race to succeed retiring Tax Collector Doug Belden.
However, a financial disclosure filed by Mathew in June shows he didn’t have that kind of money to spend on his political ambitions.
According to Matthew’s financial disclosure — required to qualify for the ballot — he listed only two assets, his home and his bank account, which had $16,400 in it at the time of filing. He also listed the aggregate value of his possessions at $242,000. Meanwhile, his debts totaled nearly $255,000, most of it for his mortgage.
Campaign contributions are limited to $1,000 per person per entity, even if it’s coming from a family member.
In order for Mathew to have made a loan to his campaign, the loan money would need to be his own. A candidate could loan himself $100,500 from a joint account with a family member, but that account would have to be listed on the financial disclosure.
Available information points to Mathew either filing a financial disclosure that purposely concealed a substantial portion of his assets or an illegal campaign loan in the vein of exiting U.S. Rep. Ross Spano.
In the 2018 cycle, Spano skirted campaign finance laws by taking $176,000 in loans from friends and then pumping that money into his campaign.
The move resulted in the Department of Justice opening an investigation into Spano. The fallout also directly contributed to his loss in the Republican primary for Florida’s 15th Congressional District last month.
Mathew faces Democratic nominee Nancy Millan in the November election. Millan, a longtime employee at the Tax Collector’s office defeated April Griffin in the primary election last month and has amassed more than $200,000 for her campaign.
Mathew’s financial disclosure is below.