On the evening of July 31, Lenny Curry and Marty Fiorentino were heading to a late dinner in San Marco.
It was the final day of the second month of Curry’s mayoral campaign, one that followed a staggering $568,730 inaugural period.
Curry said he and Fiorentino, the campaign’s finance chair, sat in the parking lot of V Pizza returning final calls. Those calls, plus several online donations that night, helped the campaign hit almost $200,000 in its second month.
Together for a Greater Jacksonville, Curry’s political action committee, raised $112,500 in July.
Key donations came from companies tied to Gate Petroleum (owned by the Peyton family) and Preston Haskell, the campaign said. Specific amounts were not available this morning.
Curry’s local campaign account brought in $86,303, led in part by two fundraisers and another strong month of online donations.
Donors included Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, attorney W.C. Gentry (both personally and from his law office), former City Hall official Sam Mousa, Gena Delaney (the wife of University of North Florida President John Delaney) and Haskell.
The July totals put Curry’s campaign just under $95,000 behind former Mayor John Peyton’s $861,909 quarter for his 2007 re-election campaign.
It’s a target that’s been in the sights of Curry’s campaign from the beginning. Now that the goal is within five figures, Fiorentino said the new goal is $900,000.
When asked if the campaign could hit $1 million in three months, Fiorentino wasn’t ready to go there. Instead, he said, “We’ve got momentum and the momentum is building.”
Fiorentino said the campaign again was bolstered by a series of new donors. “These are not your River Club fundraisers or University Club fundraisers,” he said.
Instead, Fiorentino said, many are people Curry has met over the years. Some he has done business with, many know Curry from church or families of Curry’s children’s friends, he said.
Fiorentino said he is impressed by the amount of money Curry has raised at the same time as a highly competitive governor’s race and during the summer months, which typically are slower.
He said in order for Curry to beat an incumbent, the campaign has to raise as much, or more, than Mayor Alvin Brown. The mayor has raised $1.4 million to date, not including local contributions for July. Those will be posted today.
Fiorentino continues to be pleased with the online donations, which he said total about $41,000.
He said finance committee members and others are sending out emails with the online link and it’s working. Curry said each time he posts a plea on Facebook or Twitter, he quickly gets an email saying donations have been made.
The campaign has two fundraisers scheduled for July, Fiorentino said.