Last month, incumbent Sarasota County School Board candidate Caroline Zucker said she would need $50,000 in campaign contributions to ultimately win the race.
Since then, she has raised nearly $4,000 to bring her total monetary contributions up to $37,535. But Teresa Mast, Zucker’s opponent in the Aug. 30 election, collected more than $17,000 in July to top $50,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions.
Prominent donations in Mast’s last two round of financial disclosures include $1,000 from Neal Land Ventures, $1,000 from a political action committee associated with state Rep. Jim Boyd and $3,000 from prominent GOP donor Gary Kompothecras, founder of 1-800-ASK-Gary. Kompothecras recently partnered with entrepreneur Jesse Biter to bring a screening of Vaxxed the Movie, a film critical of vaccinations, to Hollywood 20 in downtown Sarasota.
BBG, a Tallahassee-based PAC associated with state Sen. Nancy Detert, who will soon sit on the Sarasota County Commission, also contributed $500 toward Mast’s campaign.
“The challenge is that when you have the size of area we cover — when you’re countywide — your budget goes up significantly,” said Mast, a political newcomer, in an earlier interview with the Sarasota Observer. “Anyone who is well-informed going into a race understands that’s vitally important.”
Zucker continues top draw support from the commercial building industry, with a $400 contribution from Jon F. Swift Construction and $500 from Sweet Sparkman Architects.
The School Board race has divided the local Republican and development community. While homebuilder and former state Sen. Pat Neal has thrown his support behind Mast, Rex Jensen, CEO of Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, has contributed $3,000 into Zucker’s campaign coffers.