Catching Up With the Candidates: Campaign Finance

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As of the end of September, Saga Stevin and Sara Roberts McCarley had the largest campaign treasuries among the six people running for Lakeland mayor and City Commission this fall. Shandale Terrell had the most individual donors. And Allyson “Al” Lewis had the most donations from political organizations. Read on for more highlights and a summary of each candidate’s financial support.

Stevin, who is challenging Mayor Bill Mutz, had raised $34,034 by the end of September, according to campaign finance reports filed with the City Clerk’s Office. She has loaned her campaign $10,000, the largest amount among the six current candidates.

Check thecityzenship.org for searchable lists of donations to the candidates running in the non-partisan Nov. 2 Lakeland elections.

McCarley, an incumbent city commissioner, has made no loans to her campaign; not including her own donation of $1,000, she has collected $27,050, the largest amount any candidate has received from other people. She also had the most donations at the maximum amount of $1,000 (14), the highest average donation ($519.44) and the highest median donation ($500).

Conversely, Terrell, who is challenging incumbent Mike Musick for a City Commission seat, had the most donors (87), the lowest average donation ($137) and the lowest median donation ($50), reflecting a reliance on a large number of smaller donors.

Mutz said he got a late start on fund-raising because he had no opponent until August, when Stevin decided to switch from challenging Commissioner Stephanie Madden to running for mayor. (Madden was re-elected last month when neither of the people who declared for her seat filed to run against her.)

A fund-raiser for Mutz last week was set in motion by local investor Wesley Barnett and co-hosted by 48 prominent couples and individuals. It raised around $30,000, Mutz said. Most of those donations will appear on the candidate’s next campaign reports, due Oct. 22 and 29.

Here is a race-by-race summary of candidate fund-raising activity:

Mayor

Bill Mutz, incumbent

  • Total: $ 17,125
  • Number of donations: 60
  • Average donation: $285.42
  • Median donation: $100
  • Candidate self-loan: $2,500
  • $1,000 donors: Elizabeth Taylor, Lori Gerard, Michael Mutz

Saga Stevin

  • Total: $34,034
  • Number of donations: 80
  • Average donation: $425.43
  • Median donation: $150
  • Candidate self-loan: $10,000
  • $1,000 donors: Betty Miller, Buddy & Carol Caswell, Candi Packett, Charles Masek, Erinaus LLC, Julie Fancelli, Louie Brasovan, Marjorie Masek, Philip Sebring, Richard A. Miller, Steven Smyers
  • Political organizations donating: Northeast Polk PAC ($250)

City Commission, District C, Southwest

Allyson “Al” Lewis

Sara Roberts McCarley, incumbent

  • Total: $28,050
  • Number of donations: 54
  • Average donation: $519.44
  • Median donation: $500
  • $1,000 donors: Jack Harrell Jr., Jack Harrell III, Justin Hollis, Hoyt Barnett, Carolaire Inc. (Carol and Hoyt Barnett), M. Clayton Hollis, Carol Barnett, Paul M. McCarley III, Harriet Rust, Building On Your Dreams, Defending Conservatism and Democracy, Brian Philpot, Growing Florida’s Future, Sara Roberts McCarley
  • Also: A newly formed political action committee called Coalition for a Stronger Lakeland has sent mailers promoting McCarley’s campaign. The organization reports $45,000 in contributions: $15,000 each from Conquistador PC, Jack Harrell Jr. and Carol Barnett. The only expenditure noted so far is $1,400 for treasurer services.

City Commission, District D, Southeast

Mike Musick, incumbent

  • Total: $9,850
  • Number of donations: 27
  • Average donation: $364.81
  • Median donation: $250
  • $1,000 donors: Brian Philpot, Carol Barnett, Carolaire Inc., Hoyt Barnett, Jack Harrell Jr.

Shandale Terrell

Total: $11,333
Number of donations: 87
Average donation: $130.26
Median donation: $50
Candidate self-loan: $1,250
$1,000 donors: James Roche, Jan Barrow, Michael Maguire

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