City Candidates Differ in Approaches to Campaign Finance

The four candidates for Lakeland City Commission are taking very different approaches to fund-raising as the April 6 election nears. Ken Post has not accepted outside funding. Shandale Terrell has by far the highest number of donors but the third-highest dollar total; Mike Musick has collected a mix of small and large donations. Steve Frankenberger collected the highest amount: $15,170, with $13,705 of it coming from two individuals.

Those are some of the findings from a review of campaign finance reports filed last week covering the period between the start of the campaigning in January through March 5.

Citizenship activist Michael Maguire has compiled the individual campaign finance reports into a single database on his website, The City Zen Ship. The searchable table shows the names of donors and the amounts they gave.

Further reports are due March 26 and April 2. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote April 6, a runoff will be held May 4; final campaign reports are due April 23 and 30.

The race for the Southeast District seat on the City Commission fills the unexpired last nine months in the term of former Commissioner Scott Franklin, who resigned in connection with his successful race for U.S. Congress. Another election for the full four-year term will be held in November.

Here is a look at campaign finances so far, with links to the PDF documents containing details.

Steve Frankenberger

  • Total: $15,170 
  • Donations: 21
  • High: $3,000 (loan from the candidate)
  • Low: $5
  • Self donations: $3,705, including $3,700 in loans from the candidate
  • Average: $722.38
  • Median: $1,000
  • Notes: Ten donations of $1,000 each came from organizations headed by local investor and historic preservation advocate Gregory Fancelli.
  • Detailed reports: February | March 1-5

Mike Musick

  • Total: $9,016
  • Donations: 31
  • High: $2,000 (from the candidate)
  • Low: $25
  • Self donations: $2,000 from the candidate and $1,000 from his construction company
  • Average: $290.84
  • Median: $100
  • Notes: Musick received a $500 donation from state sen. Kelli Stargel, the only elected official who has donated to any of the candidates so far.
  • Detailed reports: January | February | March 1-5

Ken Post

  • Total: $5,500, including $4,500 in loans
  • Donations: 3
  • High: $3,500 (loan from the candidate)
  • Low: $1,000
  • Self donations: $5,500
  • Average: $1,833.33
  • Median: $1,000
  • Notes: The average and median donation amounts are less meaningful for Post since he has not accepted outside contributions so far.
  • Detailed reports: February | March 1-5

Shandale Terrell

  • Total: $6,956.52
  • Donations: 88
  • High: $500
  • Low: 52 cents
  • Self donations: $806 in loans to the campaign
  • Average: $79.05
  • Median: $50
  • Detailed reports: January | February | March 1-5

The Lakeland First political action committee, which provided more than one-third of all financing in the fall 2019 City Commission race between victor Chad McLeod and Carole Phillipson, has not participated in the current City Commission contest, according to Florida Election Commission records.

Learn more about the candidates and hear their positions on issues at a forum sponsored by LkldNow at 6:30 p.m. tonight. It will be live streamed on LkldNow.com, YouTube and Facebook.