Sheriff Scott leads field of Lee candidates with nearly $225,000 raised

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott

— With four months to go until the primary election, incumbent Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott has collected nearly a quarter of a million dollars in campaign contributions.

Campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2012 were filed this past week by candidates for office in Lee County. They show Scott leading the pack in campaign contributions, receiving $67,930 in the first quarter of 2012 to reach a total of $224,570 so far in his race against candidates Lee Bushong, Tim Fisher and Christian Meister.

"I've got a lot of support and it's overwhelming," Scott said.

More than 1,000 donors from a broad base of support have financially supported Scott's campaign.

Scott said one of his most special donors was an older Pine Island woman who sent him a $10 check with a handwritten note that said she wished it could be more but she thought he was doing a good job.

That donation — the smallest single amount received for his campaign so far — was a "battery charger," Scott said.

Most of his challengers have spend all the money they've raised. Scott has spent $12,221 so far on his campaign.

"Money is a very, very telling component of the strength of a campaign," Scott said.

Bushong, who has raised $10,308 to date total and received no contributions in the most recent report, has spent $10,182 so far on his campaign. He owns a private investigation firm, Bushong and Associates.

Fisher, who has raised $10,600 to date, has spent $7,587 so far on his campaign. A law enforcement officer, he was an investigator for the Internal Affairs Division as well as a member of the SWAT team. He also is the supervisor of the School Resource Division.

Meister has raised $115 for his campaign and he's had $15 of expenses. As a legal analyst and author with experience in procedural law, he has managed litigation for various court systems.

Lee County Commission

When it comes to the Lee County Commission election, Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker, who recently announced his bid for the District 3 seat, is topping the donation list. He's followed closely by incumbent Ray Judah.

Kiker raised $32,403 for his campaign in the first quarter of 2012 and spent $1,364, according to campaign treasurer reports.

Judah, whose District 3 covers south Lee County, has raised $23,100 to date — with $11,745 coming this quarter. He has spent $967.

Over the years, Judah has limited his individual campaign contributions to no more than $100.

So, it's no surprise when challengers raise more money, Judah said.

"The political process should be about people, not about money," he said.

Former Daily News reporter Charlie Whitehead, who covered Lee County government for more than 20 years, is running for the commission seat.

So far, Whitehead's campaign has raised $4,170 with $839 in expenses.

In District 5, which covers Fort Myers toward eastern Lee County, incumbent Frank Mann is leading with $15,233 in donations. Steve Haas has raised $7,672 with $705 in expenses and Matthew Shawn Miller collected $3,100 with $1,438 in expenses, reports state.

In District 1, which covers the western portion of Lee County, incumbent John Manning and Gerard David Jr. are vying for the seat.

David has collected $66 for his campaign and has spent $50, reports state.

Manning has raised $550 and spent $43.

Lee County School Board

The three candidates vying for the south Lee County District 3 seat are Les Cochran, Nick Kellen and Cathleen Morgan.

Cochran has raised the most money, with $25,844, including $8,115 from the first quarter of 2012, reports state. He has spent a total of $1,877 on his campaign.

Morgan has raised $6,394 and spent $1,118, reports state.

Kellen hadn't filed a treasurer's report as of Friday. Reports were due Tuesday.

In the race for the Fort Myers area District 2 seat, incumbent Jeanne Dozier is leading in contributions, with $16,212 collected in the first quarter of 2012. To date, she has spent $1,464, reports state.

Bob Chilmonik has raised $6,619 for his campaign. Paul Schafer has raised $6,905 with $4,807 from the first quarter of 2012. Schafer has spent $1,984 so far on his campaign.

Lee County Property Appraiser

Bertrand Pepper is running against incumbent Kenneth Wilkinson for the Lee property appraiser position.

Wilkinson is leading the race with $9,045 raised for his campaign, with $526 of expenses so far. Pepper has collected $725 and spent $254, reports state.

In three months, the candidates again will have to document how much they have raised during the second quarter of 2012. The primary election is on Aug. 14; the general election is set for Nov. 6.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 13

Trunk_Monkey writes:

The race for sheriff in Lee County will not be much of a race. Scott will win with ease. Though Fisher is a good guy and would make a good sheriff his efforts will be futile with the public support Scott has and should have been saved for four years from now.

shwing writes:

Viiny, we know this headline gives you a woody, so let me be the first to say congatulations! You lead the Collier field with $20. I assume that is a bribe since you don't take donations.
You couldn't win a race if the only other candidate was your pet elephant.
"good post"

Klaatu writes:

His opponents would be wise to check his list of contributors very carefully. As some have contracts with the Sheriffs dept.

rasputin writes:

hiel hitler...I mean scott.

profiler writes:

Dirty money for a dirty nazi gestapo ahole cop. No surprise there!

tiedyeted writes:

Is there any chance some of these "campaign contributions" were caught on police dash cams?

shaynelewis writes:

Now this is how you run a sheriff campaign. Loads of money. Nice job, Sheriff.

Typeone writes:

Will he be required to move to Florida and be a full time resident?

RickScott writes:

Scott's gonna win.......he's the only qualified one anyway. I like him-he's done good for Ft Myers.

profiler writes:

Ask scott about being sued by capitol pawn for false arrests. He is a lovely human being nazi...
He will get a chance to answer in is a civil suit..and he is a dooshbag criminal with a badge. At least this is a start

profiler writes:

Why no interview about him arresting the guys at capitol pawn and then being sued? WHAT? He doesn't want the TRUTH....THATS WHY!
A dirty cop with dirty money brings dirty results

profiler writes:

Correction: dooshbag scott is being sued by larrys pawn. scott and the rest of his gestapo nazi trash arrested a whole lot of people and all the charges were dropped. The media needs to bring this to light and ask that POS dooshbag scott why he felt it was the right thing to do and try and frame all of them.
ARMED REVOLUTION...when bullets are the only way...may be coming soon. I know which nazis I would LOVE to see get the first ones...Obama and scott. Is it illegal (yet) to hope for this??

scott is a corrupt piece of nazi trash....

profiler writes:

ALL cops are POS...all of them deserve to burn in hell for what they do to people hiding behind their nazi badges...

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