By Rachel Brown Hackney
Sarasota County Commissioner Alan Maio of Nokomis continues to outpace all other candidates for County Commission this year — especially his District 4 opponents — in terms of fundraising, the latest reports show. District 4 includes Siesta Key.
Having added $2,600 in monetary and $408.44 in in-kind contributions from June 23 to July 6, Maio reported a total of $110,068 in the document due to the state by July 13. He had spent another $904.30, bringing that total to $25,716.39.Maio has accounted for $10,000 of his contributions, via a loan he made to the campaign in April, records show.
The only County Commission candidate who has raised no money is Siesta Key resident Mike Cosentino. He submitted a form early in July that serves as a notification of no activity in his account for the reporting period from June 23 through July 6.
Cosentino filed as a Democrat on June 14 to face Wesley Anne Beggs in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary.
Cosentino’s previous campaign finance record showed that he had loaned his campaign the $5,198.04 fee to qualify for the race.
SNL incorrectly reported earlier this month that Beggs appeared to have qualified for the race by submitting the sufficient number of registered voter petitions. An amended report she filed for the period of June 1-22 showed that she, too, paid the $5,198.04 filing feel.
Maio’s Republican primary opponent, Lourdes Ramirez of Siesta Key, pulled in another $1,195 in cash and checks from June 23 to July 6 — along with $622.64 in in-kind donations — for a campaign total thus far of $16,868, her latest report says. She loaned her campaign $3,300 in March, records note.
Altogether, as of her July 11 report, she had spent $4,191.15. Ramirez filed for the District 4 seat on Feb. 20.
Beggs has remained close to the fundraising level Ramirez has reported. By July 6, Beggs had added $1,815 in cash and checks and $245.25 in in-kind services, bringing her total to $16,085.18. As of July 6, Beggs reported expenses adding up to $10,509.10.
Beggs was the second person to file for the District 4 seat. She turned in her paperwork on Feb. 8. Maio formally submitted paperwork on Dec. 13, 2017 to seek re-election to the seat, which he won in November 2016.
As with previous reports Maio has filed, a number of his 22 latest contributors were in the real estate business or real estate development. They were Carlisle W. Fiers III of Nokomis, Cemo Title Services of Venice, Worthington Property Group of Nokomis, and Sarasota Commercial Reality in Sarasota. Additionally, Maio reported checks from Truex Preferred Construction and Suncoast Architect, both of Englewood.
Maio LAO noted contributions from Joseph Medred, whose father, Robert “Bo” Medred, heads up Genesis Planning and Development in Bradenton. Bo Medred often appears before the County Commission on behalf of developers seeking commission approval for new projects.
Maio’s top expenses in his latest report are more payments to the Venice CPA firm of Robinson, Hanks, Young and Roberts and The Thomson Group of Sarasota. The latter business handles communications and social media. Maio paid the CPA firm $500, while the expense noted for The Thomson Group was $400.
Sarasota County School Board member Eric Robinson is the Robinson in the Venice firm. Rod Thomson, a well-known Republican activist in Sarasota, is the principal of The Thomson Group.
Ramirez noted a combination of 17 cash and in-kind contributions in her latest report. However, seven of them were in-kind contributions she made to the campaign. Those ranged from $14.78 for social media services to $167.05 for food for a meet-and-greet function to $200 for graphics.
Among the people giving her donations were former Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman and Sarasota City Planning Board member Eileen Normile.
Ramirez’s biggest expenses were $1,819 to Sun Graphics Technologies of Sarasota for yard signs and $1,284 to Gateway Media of Sarasota for printing.
As she has in recent reports, Beggs again led the way with the number of contributors — 49. However, she accounted for three of those, for in-kind services. Among them were separate payments of $164.18, $49.63 and $31.44 for office supplies for marketing.
Once again, as well, a number of the donations were small — $10, $20 and $25, $30 and $35, for example.
Ramirez reported amounts form $20 to $200.
In contrast, Maio’s monetary contributions for the latest report were ether $100 or $200.
Among those listed as contributors in Beggs’ report for the period of June 23 through July 6 were Jono Miller, retired director of the Environmental Studies Program at New College of Florida, which is Beggs’ alma mater; and past Sarasota Mayor Kelly Kirschner. In her prior report, Beggs identified a campaign with a range of occupations, such as “Lab Tech,” “Computer Programmer” and “Student.”
Both Ramirez and Beggs note in their latest reports that a number of those who have given money to their campaigns are retirees.
Beggs’ biggest expense for the period of June 23 through July 6 was $600 for software.