Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Polical Notes; Mica Challenger Raises Funds Online Congressman Says He Plans to Start His Campaign in the Fall

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Polical Notes; Mica Challenger Raises Funds Online Congressman Says He Plans to Start His Campaign in the Fall

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID HUNT

As political candidates tallied up their second quarter campaign donations, Democrat Heather Beaven recognized the power of the Internet.

Beaven, a Navy vet and nonprofit executive who's running against 18-year incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica, said she's raised just over $60,000 for her campaign so far online alone. Going into this fundraising period, she was leading all other congressional challengers in the region.

Online donations helped drive her fundraising total up to about $135,000 when the second reporting quarter ended Wednesday. She estimated $50,000 came from that time period alone. The second quarter runs from April to June.

The campaign started with a humble midnight scramble on the social-networking website Facebook, Beaven told the News Service of Florida last week.

"My husband and I raised the first $20,000 or so literally in bed, with him on one laptop, me on the other laptop, Facebooking everyone we could think of at 1:30 in the morning," she was quoted as saying.

Beaven has been after Mica for maintaining a pro-drilling stance as oil continues to leak into the Gulf of Mexico. Mica, who has roughly $1 million in his campaign war chest - the type of cash that could blow away an under-financed challenger - told the News Service he wasn't planning to campaign until September.

'DOWNHILL TRAJECTORY'

The thing about power: It can slip away quickly. Ask newly seated City Council President Jack Webb.

During a meeting with The Times-Union's editorial board last week, Webb stressed his priorities for the next year but also stressed he's there for just one year. The goal, he said, is more to try to set up the next president than make a name for himself.

"A lot of pundits and people who have been in this position prior to me understand full well that the height of my influence and my authority probably peaked at the day of my installation - the moment of my installation," Webb said. …

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