Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long maintains a $60,546 lead over Republican Larry Ahern in available spending money despite her biggest spending period recorded in the most recent financial disclosure.
The two candidates, who are racing for the Commission’s District 1 seat, had nearly identical fundraising numbers this period, which spanned Sept. 26 through Oct. 2. The incumbent Democrat raised $11,100, and Ahern collected $11,375 — including a $10,000 donation from the Pinellas County Republican Party.
As far as spending, however, the two varied widely. Long reported her biggest expenditure period since the start of her campaign, dishing out $48,821, primarily on postage and mail services. Ahern, on the other hand, spent only $5.60 this period, following his big spend in the period prior, where he let go of $60,766.
Since the start of the race, Long has led Ahern in fundraising, reaching $177,965 in total contributions. Ahern has raised $96,540 total, including $6,500 in self-funding. Following this period’s spending, Long maintains the upper-hand with $85,560 cash on hand while Ahern maintains $25,014.
This period, Long had 34 contributors, primarily consisting of individuals and a handful of businesses and PACs. Long received $1,000 donations from Building a Better Florida PAC, American Investment Holdings and MHH Enterprises.
Ahern had seven donors this period, including four individuals and several businesses and committees, including Kelly Pools Inc. and Free Markets For Florida PAC.
Long, who has held the at-large District 1 seat since 2012, faces Republican challenger Ahern in the November General Election.
Ahern previously served Florida’s 66th District in northwestern Pinellas County from 2012 to 2018, and in Florida’s 51st District from 2010 to 2012, giving him name recognition in the area. During his time in the House, Ahern was recognized as arguably the most conservative lawmaker in the Pinellas legislative delegation and an early Trump supporter.
Before serving on the Pinellas County Commission, Long served on the Seminole City Council from 2002 to 2006, and in the Florida House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010.
The at-large District 1 seat represents the areas of northeast and mid-Pinellas County.