Political Fund-Raising Efforts Begin

Article excerpt

The 2002 political fund-raising season is now fully under way, with at least two high-profile events in Jacksonville last week.

Former state Rep. Tony Hill christened his campaign for the state Senate on Tuesday night with more than 100 supporters at the Lavilla Grill. In addition to support from First Coast labor unions -- who have long supported Hill -- he garnered the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown and City Councilwoman Pat Lockett-Felder.

Hill, a Democrat from Jacksonville, is the only declared candidate for the District 2 seat, which is being vacated by Sen. Betty Holzendorf because of term limits.

On the same night, Republicans were raising money across the St. Johns River for Charlie Crist, current education commissioner and candidate for attorney general.

The event was held at the Mandarin home of real estate developer John Rood, a top GOP fund-raiser who is expected to play a major role in the campaign of Gov. Jeb Bush if he runs for re-election.

NORTHWEST PLANS: City Hall and the advisory board for the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund will have a public hearing tomorrow on $25 million from the Better Jacksonville Plan set aside to bolster investment in that part of town.

The meeting will be at 5 p.m. at the Highlands Branch Library, 1826 Dunn Ave.

City administrators will explain plans and take comments on ways to develop the fund.

Staffers have proposed breaking the money into incentive pools for large companies, small companies and general infrastructure improvements. …