Fired lawyer repays support at road agency
Thomas Scott, who fought the firing, is getting money for his council race.
By JANET ZINK and BILL VARIAN
Published February 7, 2007
TAMPA - Last year, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Thomas Scott went to bat for attorney Steve Anderson.
Representing the commission on the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, Scott opposed that board's effort to fire Anderson, a battle that led to a state investigation of the agency.
Now, Anderson has emerged as a key figure in Scott's run for the District 5 Tampa City Council seat. Scott has raised about $7,800 so far, including $2,000 of his own money. More than half of the remaining funds come from Anderson and his law firm.
Scott's notable accumulation of money from Anderson and his colleagues is just one highlight of the latest campaign finance reports in Tampa's March 6 City Council and mayoral election.
Anderson said the cash from him and associates looks overly large because it's Scott's first campaign report and it covers only a one-month period. "I'm sure his subsequent reports will make our percentage look much less significant," Anderson said.
Scott said Anderson held the first fundraising event after he declared his intent to run. And he said Anderson has been a consistent supporter, going back to his first run at public office in 1996. "I would say that what he did for me this time is nothing out of the ordinary with what he's done in the past," Scott said.
Anderson described Scott as a man of "integrity who fought for "honest government" at the road authority.
Scott's opponent, Frank Reddick, has raised $11,280. Supporters include East Tampa activists, the publisher of the Florida Sentinel Bulletin and WTMP-AM 1150 radio host Jetie B. Wilds.
"Frank has proven himself in his community," Wilds said.
As a member of the East Tampa partnership, Reddick helped get city money for renovation of the Belmont Heights Little League baseball field, Wilds said.
Reddick is an interim council member appointed in November to fill a vacant seat.
Lynette Judge, the third District 5 candidate, has raised $780 in cash contributions, and loaned her campaign $2,000.
Here's a look at fundraising in some other city races:
- Mayor Pam Iorio last month raised $92,000 for her re-election bid. At least $12,000 came from people affiliated with the Heights, a 48-acre development just north of downtown, and Novare-Intown Group, a company developing several downtown condo towers.
Mayoral candidate Marion Serious Lewis, a former Tampa police captain, has raised $20,208. Aria Green, a Tampa fire chief forced to resign by Iorio and now running against her, has raised $250 and loaned his campaign $22,000.
- In the City Council District 2 race, Shawn Harrison is raising the sort of money one might expect in races for higher office.
Harrison is hoping to move into a citywide council seat from his current one in a northern Tampa district. He has collected $146,927 over nearly 10 months.
His opponent, Mary Mulhern, a community activist who works in advertising, has raised $9,850, but said she is not concerned. Mulhern said it's ridiculous to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for a $40,000-a-year post.
But Harrison said that's just the nature of politics these days.
- The race to represent District 4, which includes South Tampa, has also turned into a high-dollar battle. Incumbent John Dingfelder has raised nearly $102,000. Challenger Julie Brown has raked in $103,000.
When Dingfelder ran for the City Council four years ago, he won with about $40,000. Dingfelder called the pressure to raise cash an unfortunate trend that "distracts from the real issues." But he said he has no choice if his campaign is to be viable.
Hairstylist Joseph Citro, the third District 2 candidate, has raised $7,700, which includes $5,500 of his own money.
Times staff writers Bill Coats, Kevin Graham and Rebecca Catalanello contributed to this report.
A look at cash contributions so far in other city elections:
Rick Barcena $14,060
Randy "Red" Baron $5,420
Denise Chavez $9,950
Julie Jenkins $17,059
Gwen Miller $33,505
Joe Redner 0
(Redner loaned his campaign $5,000)
Charlie Miranda $10,300
Lisa Tamargo $1,975
Frank Margarella $10,925
Joe Caetano $50
Charlie Perkins 0
(Perkins has loaned his campaign $1,999)
[Last modified February 7, 2007, 00:33:15]
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