Christine Miller raises $450K for Hillsborough County Commission race, the only candidate to hit 6 figures

christine miller plant city copy
And she hasn't yet spent very much of it.

Christine Miller has raised nearly seven times as much as any other candidate in the race for Hillsborough County Commission, District 6.

Miller has raised nearly $450,000, according to latest campaign finance documents with the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and Florida Division of Elections. That total includes $400,000 raised to Miller’s political committee, Friends of Christine Miller, and $49,488 added to her campaign account.

“We’re very excited to have support from all across the county from those who want to see conservative, common sense, and responsible leaders on the County Commission. Hillsborough County has tremendous opportunities ahead, but we must have leaders who understand how to grow our economy, invest in our critical needs and protect people’s pocketbooks,” Miller said.

Miller brought in 123 contributions averaging about $402 each. Some donor names that pop out include Rick Lott, the former Plant City Mayor, and his wife, who each cut checks for $1,000; political committees for state Reps. Danny Alvarez, and Traci Koster, both with $1,000 contributions; former U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, with a $100 contribution; and the candidate herself, with a $1,000 buy-in.

Only 10 contributions to her campaign account came from outside the Tampa Bay area, and a handful of donations came from voters with protected status, meaning their addresses are not listed. And the majority of donations to Miller’s campaign came from areas she would represent on the dais, including Plant City, Lutz, Riverview, Sun City Center and other areas in Hillsborough County.

But her committee isn’t quite as representative of the county’s constituents. The $400,000 it took in from January through March came from just two donors, both other political committees. Conservative Florida, state Rep. Lawrence McClure’s political committee, kicked in $200,000; and Building a Brighter Future for Florida, a committee run by Thomas Piccolo, a political consultant and partner with Strategic Image Management (known by most in political circles as SimWins), also donated $200,000.

Miller’s campaign account spent just over $4,000 in the first quarter, including $2,500 to Strategic Image Management — which also includes its founder, GOP strategist Anthony Pedicini — along with another $295 for business cards.

Her committee has spent just $36, on bank service fees.

Miller is President and CEO of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and has already rounded up considerable conservative support for her bid, including from state Sens. Danny Burgess and Jay Collins.

On the Republican side, Miller faces Jim Davison in the Primary. He’s raised $500, including $250 from conservative activist Sharon Calvert. He spent just $105 during the period, all on administrative-related fees.

Several Democrats are running, including former state Rep. Sean Shaw, the top fundraiser behind Miller. Shaw has raised $65,000 since entering the race in January. That includes nearly $59,000 raised to his campaign and another $7,000 to his committee, Friends of Sean Shaw.

Mark Nash follows with less than $20,000. Joseph Taylor has raised just $20. A fourth Democrat, Cynthia Fuentes, just joined the race this month and has not yet filed financial reports.

The candidates are running to succeed Pat Kemp on the Commission. The progressive Democrat is facing term limits and recently announced a bid for Congress, where she hopes to unseat Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee.

Republicans are eying an opportunity to flip District 6 red. Kemp flipped it when she was first elected. Putting the seat back into the GOP column would further increase the party’s advantage on the dais from a current 4-3 majority to a 5-2 majority. Republicans won back their majority less than two years ago, with Republican candidates defeating incumbent Democrats Mariella Smith and Kimberly Overman.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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