Chad Chronister says he’s raised nearly $2M in just 82 days

Chad Chronister
'His brand is the regional gold standard, and this outpouring of support proves it.'

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister, always a fundraising juggernaut, seems to have outdone even himself. The Republican Sheriff announced that he had raised nearly $2 million in just 82 days of campaigning for re-election, including $960,000 for his campaign and another $1 million for his political committee, Friends of Chad Chronister.

In all, Chronister said he has nearly $3 million to spend on his 2024 campaign.

“I’m grateful to the more than 1,500 individuals who contributed during our first 82 days,” Chronister said. “The broad spectrum of support our community has for its Sheriff, our performance, and the gains we’ve made fighting and reducing crime is truly humbling.”

Chronister’s Finance Chair, Stuart Lasher, attributed the fundraising success to Chronister’s “widespread political appeal to residents young and adult” and “from diverse backgrounds and experiences.”

“His brand is the regional gold standard, and this outpouring of support proves it,” Lasher said.

Chronister’s totals are so far self-reported. Campaign finance reports are due to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office and the Division of Elections for his committee later this month.

This week will be Chronister’s first finance reports for his campaign. His committee has more than $1 million on hand. While most of that is leftover funds from late 2021, it also includes more than $10,000 raised last April and another more than $8,000 raised from July through September, all before Chronister was officially seeking re-election.

Chronister officially jumped in for his third re-election in January.

He was appointed in 2017 by then-Gov. Rick Scott and subsequently re-elected in 2018 and again in 2020. He so far faces a familiar foe in Democrat Gary Pruitt. This election will be the third time the two have faced each other at the ballot box. Chronister dispensed with Pruitt in 2018 with nearly 55% of the vote, and again in 2020 in addition to a no-party candidate, Ron McMullen.

Chronister raised more than a half million dollars for his official 2020 re-election campaign and more than $800,000 for his first election in 2018. That brought his spending capacity in both cycles to well over $1 million. His longtime political advisor, Anthony Pedicini, told Florida Politics last year that the Hillsborough Sheriff once raised $1 million in just one night.

Chronister remains Hillsborough County’s only Republican constitutional officer. The other four constitutional officers — Clerk of Court, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections and Tax Collector — are all Democrats. The GOP will be looking to change that this cycle after what turned out to be a red wave in Hillsborough County in the 2022 Midterms, even if the expected red wave nationally fizzled.

Throughout his tenure, Chronister has notched a number of accomplishments. He played a crucial role in the pandemic’s early days serving on the now-defunct Emergency Policy Group, which was tasked with setting policy on the pandemic.

While he mostly stuck to the law enforcement perspective on how to enforce policy proposals, he put duty before the politicization of COVID-19. Chronister directed deputies to arrest Brandon pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for continuing to hold crowded in-person services at The River at Tampa Bay church in violation of the county’s then stay-at-home order.

That same year, he also directed the high-profile firing of a 21-year Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office veteran. Chronister not only fired the deputy for pointing a gun at a suspect’s head, but he also had him arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Chronister has led a series of reforms within the agency including diversion programs, enhanced mental health response, more community policing and engagement, and increased transparency.

He’s directed resources toward combating human trafficking, a problem Chronister notes is particularly pervasive in Tampa, the county’s largest city.

Chronister also launched a heroine task force as part of the department’s response to the opioid epidemic. The group works with homicide detectives and looks into whether or not a dealer, provided it can be proven they provided the drug, can be charged in relation to an overdose death.

Chronister also mandated 40 additional hours of officer mental health training, including on PTSD and drug-induced mental health issues, so officers can better differentiate between a combative suspect and one who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

He also implemented a collaboration between deputies and social workers to connect offenders with services to help get them on their feet, clean and sober, and away from crime.

Chronister has served the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for 31 years. As Sheriff, he remains committed to community policing, according to his campaign announcement, and to furthering a culture of diversity and inclusion — a statement that detracts largely from his political party, which has taken efforts to reduce diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Chronister was ranked No. 3 on Florida Politics’ 2023 list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians.

Chronister also co-chairs the Regional Domestic Security Task Force for Region IV Tampa Bay, and is a council member of the Florida Attorney General’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking and Chairman of the Criminal Justice Sub-Committee; vice chairman of the Hillsborough County Public Safety Coordinating Council; vice chairman of the Hillsborough County Public Schools Citizen Oversight Committee; and appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Florida Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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  • Janis Lentz

    April 9, 2024 at 12:28 pm

    It is time for voters in Hillsborough to elect a Democrat for their top LEO! It is absurd that our sheriff lives in a $15 Million dollar mansion; this office should be filled by a man or woman typical of the residents of our community—not by a millionaire!

Comments are closed.


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