If money were votes, the race for the District 4 seat on the Manatee County commission might be over, with eight months to go before the Republican primary.
As of Dec. 31, local Realtor Robin DiSabatino - the favorite of many in the business and development communities - had collected more than $100,600 in contributions, according to reports filed with the county elections office. DiSabatino's donor list includes numerous contributors with ties to real estate development.
Take out the $20,000 she has given her campaign, and DiSabatino still holds a commanding lead over the two other Republicans so far in the race - former county planner Norm Luppino, who has raised more than $4,600; and architect Timothy Norwood, with $175.
Businessman Roger C. Galle, the sole Democrat in the race, has reported collecting $460 in contributions.
Fortunately for the financial also-rans, the Republican primary is not until Aug. 24, and the general election, Nov. 2.
Manatee County District 4 encompasses southern Manatee County. Incumbet GOP commissioner Ron Getman is not running for re-election.
In other commission races on this year's ballot, at-large incumbent Carol Whitmore, a Republican has raised more than $40,000, and her Democratic challenger, Sundae Lynn Knight, an engineer with Sarasota County government, reported raising $585.
In District 2 (Palmetto and east Bradenton), the fund-raising has been a bit more competitive. So far, Democratic challenger Michael Gallen holds an almost 3-to-1 fund-raising lead over the incumbent Democratic commissioner Gwendolyn Brown.
Gallen, an attorney and high school teacher, has raised $3,025; and Brown has collected $1,170 in contributions.
To see who has contributed to whom, go here.
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