Cappelli gets major push from state GOP

Published September 27, 2006

STATE GOP SHOWS ANGELO SOME LOVE: The House District 52 race between Republican Angelo Cappelli and Democrat Bill Heller may be the most competitive in Florida, and the state GOP wants in. During the first two weeks of September, the party gave Cappelli $25,000, boosting his take during the reporting period to $65,500. The health care industry also gave big to Cappelli, a St. Petersburg native and bank trust adviser.

Cappelli's total contributions stood at $216,500, and he ended the period with $46,000 on hand. Heller had taken in $115,300, more than $25,000 of that in loans, and had spent $103,800, leaving him with $11,500.

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FUNDRAISING WRAPUP: Cappelli was the period's fundraising champ, by far. Here's a peek at what the other candidates have left to spend, according to filings made with the Department of State and local election officials before the Sept. 22 deadline.

In Senate District 16, Republican Kim Berfield had raised $582,700 and spent $528,850, giving her $53,850 to spend. Democrat Charlie Justice had raised $147,200, spent $64,900 and had $82,300 on hand.

House District 45 Republican incumbent Tom Anderson had raised $54,900, spent $14,100 and had $40,800 in his chest. Democratic challenger Chris Hrabovsky had but $600 in the bank, having raised $2,400 and spent $1,800.

In House District 48, Republican Peter Nehr had taken in $170,300, spent $161,700 and had $8,600 left to spend. Democrat Carl Zimmermann, who had raised $17,600, had $7,300 remaining.

House District 50 Republican Ed Hooper had spent $82,500 and had $6,600 on hand. Democrat Candice Jovan, who had raised $7,600, had $1,400 left in her campaign chest.

In House District 51, Republican Dottie Reeder had $1,400 left to spend, having raised $58,900 and used $57,500. Democrat Janet Long, who had no primary opposition, had raised $50,700, spent $21,000 and had $29,700 in her campaign chest.

House District 53 contender Rick Kriseman, a Democrat and St. Petersburg City Council member, had raised $129,600, spent $114,400 and had $15,200 on hand. Republican Thomas Piccolo had spent $8,700 and had $9,100 remaining.

In House District 54, Republican Jim Frishe had raised $66,800, spent $49,600 and had $17,200 in his chest. Democrat Betsy Valentine, who had spent $8,300, had $4,100 remaining.

In the District 6 County Commission race, Republican incumbent John Morroni had raised $101,500 and spent $30,900, leaving him with $70,600. His Democratic challenger Len Dramesi had spent $5,400 and had just $300 left to campaign with.

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GUV HOPEFULS IN TAMPA BAY: Democrat Jim Davis and Republican Charlie Crist were both slated to attend big fundraisers in the area Tuesday night, just after Junkie went to press. Davis had a reception scheduled at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa. Crist, who enjoys a substantial fundraising lead over Davis, was scheduled to attend a private reception early in the evening in St. Petersburg and a second later in Tampa.

County GOP chairman Tony DiMatteo said local donors, including some who had backed Crist's primary opponent Tom Gallagher, were eager to get behind the nominee. DiMatteo said that at the St. Petersburg reception alone, Crist could take in as much as $250,000.

Will Van Sant wrote this week's Junkie. For more political buzz, go to www.sptimes.com/blogs/buzz. Times staffers can be reached at politicaljunkie@sptimes.com.