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- 2007 - July - 11th -

Candidates amass over $800,000

Mike Sharkey

The 15 local candidates for various state elected positions ended the second campaign finance reporting quarter of the year with well over $800,000 among them.

Leading the way are State Representative candidates Lad Daniels and Mike Weinstein and State Attorney candidate Angela Corey, all of whom have over $100,000 in their campaign coffers. Former City Council member Daniels leads the way with $153,475 while Weinstein has $129,225. Corey reported $115,897 while her only opponent to date — Assistant State Attorney Jay Plotkin — reported $82,778 in just a few weeks of fundraising.

Former Council member Lynette Self has decided not to run for the State Legislature. Self had made it known she intended to run for State Rep. Stan Jordan’s Dist. 17 seat (Jordan cannot run again due to term limits), but opted to concentrate on her floral business. Self owns and operates Rose of Sharon on West University Boulevard.

“It would be too much time away from my business. I sat down and weighed everything and decided this was the best,” said Self, who has one store and would consider a second location, but that will come several years down the road. “Right now, I just want to build my clientele.”

There are currently three candidates in the Dist 17. race: former Council member Lake Ray, Gordon Morgan and Mario Rubio. Self is familiar with both Ray and Morgan, but doesn’t know Rubio, who filed to run Monday. Self said she heard he may enter the race, but her decision not to run was not affected by a third person entering the race to fill the seat that represents primarily Arlington.

Self was active on the Jacksonville Waterways Commission during her eight years on Council, seven of which she served as chair. She is up for reappointment, but as a member of the general public.

Weinstein filed to run for State Rep. Dick Kravitz’s Dist. 19 seat early this year (Kravitz is also term-limited). He has yet to draw an opponent.

“We are on track and on schedule,” said Weinstein, who is president of Take Stock in Children. “If we can raise 50, 60, $70,000 for the next couple of quarters, I’ll be very happy.”

Weinstein said raising money during the current economic climate — and with the election more than a year off – can be difficult. Most folks are paying more for nearly everything and budget crunches are putting the squeeze on many who may contribute.

“The timing makes it a little difficult to raise money. The election is quite a while away,” he said. “There are those who understand the value of raising money early. Most feel it’s kind of early.”

One race that will require immediate fundraising is between Daniels and attorney Charles McBurney for the Dist. 16 seat in the Legislature. That seat became available when Mark Mahon was appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist to fill the vacancy in the Fourth Judicial Circuit created by the retirement of Circuit Court Judge A.C. Soud. The date for the special election to fill the seat has not been determined.

“It won’t be until Mr. Mahon’s resignation letter is received,” said Sterling Ivy of the State Department of Elections. “Once he officially resigns from his legislative seat, Gov. Crist can set the election date.”

The following are all the local candidates and their campaign numbers as of June 30:

State Attorney
Angela Corey – $115,987
Jay Plotkin — $82,778

State Sen. Dist. 1
Tony Hill — $32,600

State Sen. Dist. 5
Stephen Wise — $52,350

State Rep. Dist. 13
Jennifer Carroll — $2,000

State Rep. Dist. 14
Pat Lockett-Felder — $37,193

State Rep. Dist. 15
Audrey Gibson — $6,000

State Rep. Dist. 16
Lad Daniels — $153,475
Charles McBurney — $66,350

State Rep. Dist. 17
Gordon Morgan — $37,925
Lake Ray — $44,550
Mario Rubio — (just filed July 9)

State Rep. Dist. 18
Elaine Brown — $79,690
Jack Capra — $950
Ronald Renaurt — $35,325

State Rep. Dist. 19
Mike Weinstein — $129,225

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