Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gianoulis Leads Thrasher in Fundraising; Former TV Anchor Is Getting Support from Education Interests

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gianoulis Leads Thrasher in Fundraising; Former TV Anchor Is Getting Support from Education Interests

Article excerpt

Byline: TIA MITCHELL

State Senate candidate Deborah Gianoulis said she initially had a hard time asking family and friends to donate money to her campaign. But the Democrat said she now sees the importance of raising enough money to keep her competitive with Republican incumbent John Thrasher.

"It gets easier because the stakes are so high," Gianoulis said Monday.

Candidates for state offices turned in campaign finance reports on Friday covering donations and expenditures from Aug. 20 through Sept. 10. Gianoulis raised $62,284 during that time, compared with Thrasher's $10,375.

She currently has about $138,000 in cash on hand, compared with about $12,000 for Thrasher.

So far, Gianoulis has raised $157,033 and loaned her campaign about $11,000. She has spent $29,552 and has also received $77,527 in in-kind donations, mainly staffing and travel support from the Florida Democratic Party.

Challenged by Charles Perniciaro in the GOP primary, Thrasher has raised $425,274 throughout the entire campaign season but has spent $413,000.

Gianoulis was unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The recent campaign finance period included the days surrounding the Aug. 24 primary election when candidates are prohibited from raising money.

Senate District 8 write-in candidate Rebecca Ann Holcomb has not reported any donations or expenditures. The next campaign finance reports are due in two weeks.

Donations to Gianoulis ranged from $4 from a Ponte Vedra Beach teacher to $500 checks from political action committees, unions and law offices. Her campaign points out that nearly 60 percent of donors gave $100 or less.

Senate District 8 stretches along the coastline from Nassau to Volusia counties and is heavily Republican.

Though Thrasher's most recently campaign report pales against his opponent, he is a proven fundraiser.

He collected $118,125 in the final reporting period during the primary season. He also raised $645,000 when he initially ran for the District 8 seat in a special election last year after the death of Jim King. …

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