Democrat Tracye Polson reported formidable fundraising Friday, the final campaign finance filing ahead of the Jacksonville City Council Special Election Dec. 7.
She proved willing to spend her own money as well.
Polson raised $179,140 in November, with $125,000 of that money coming from personal loans from the candidate herself, money added to $51,000 of self-financing in the previous filing period.
She has reported raising $307,163 in total, and had roughly $25,000 of that money on hand as of Dec. 2. Beyond the self-financing, Polson’s fundraising report has featured small-dollar donations from activists.
Polson raised another $25,600 to her Better Jacksonville political committee. That money has been spent.
Polson, a psychotherapist by trade, proved willing to spend aggressively in 2018 when she came close to winning a state House seat in District 15, a swing district on Jacksonville’s Westside. Here she is spending again, with thus far the most money reported by any candidate.
The second leading fundraiser, at least at this writing, is Republican Nick Howland, the executive director of the Fire Watch, an organization that battles veteran suicide.
As of his most recent accounting, Howland was a strong second in the first fundraising reports of this race. He raised $149,231 between his campaign and his Florida Freedom PAC political committee through Dec. 2, his campaign asserts.
Other candidates are in the mix also. They are not dynamic fundraisers.
Howland “Howdy” Russell, a Republican restaurant owner, had less than $2,000 cash on hand in the filing through Oct. 31. Repeat Democratic candidate James “Coach” Jacobs has a little more than $5,000 on hand.
At this writing, early voting turnout finally broke 5.7%. Democrats have a 5,000 vote advantage thus far.
All four candidates are on the ballot for the First Election Dec. 7. If no candidate gets a clear majority, the top two finishers move on to the Feb. 22 General Election.
Once someone wins this election, they likely will have to start running for re-election immediately. The Special Election only fills the remainder of the term, through June 2023.