Although there is no challenger in sight, Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube is taking no chances, raising more than $53,000 for his 2012 re-election campaign during the first three months of this year.
A finance report filed with the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office shows that Steube, who ran unopposed in 2008, raised a total of $53,376.32 in cash and in-contributions from 232 individuals, businesses and other donors during the first quarter of 2011. The list of contributors included retired law enforcement officers -- including Steube's predecessor Charlie Wells -- and several local law firms.
Between Jan. 1 and March 31, Steube spent more than $3,600 on his re-election effort, mostly for printing and postage and for design of a campaign website.
Other county candidates who have filed to run next year have raised far less, according to campaign finance reports.
County commissioners Larry Bustle and Donna Hayes -- both of whom are so far unopposed -- raised $550 and $1,700, respectively, for their re-election efforts. (Unlike Steube, however, they don't have to run countywide, only in their respective districts.)
Bustle, who donated $50 to his campaign, did not report any expenses during the first quarter. Hayes, who donated $500 to her own campaign, spent $553.60, according to reports.