Where Will Mike Haridopolos' Campaign Millions Go?

Lawmaker says he isn't running elsewhere; donors are keeping their bets in place
By: Kenric Ward | Posted: July 22, 2011 3:55 AM

Mike Haridopolos

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos | Credit: Mark Foley, myfloridahouse.gov

As Republican senatorial candidates scramble for cash to take on well-funded Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, Mike Haridopolos is sitting on nearly $3 million in contributions.

Where that money goes is of more than passing interest.

Some of the bankroll, whose receipts totaled $3,519,154 in Haridopolos' latest Federal Election Commission filing, has already been expended.

Haridopolos' campaign reported disbursements of $669,884, debts of $56,910 and unspecified "individual refunds" of $18,575.

That leaves $2,849,270 cash on hand, which federal election law says the former Senate contender can use for a future federal campaign.

The law also stipulates that withdrawn candidates can use their war chest to pay campaign-related expenses, including legal bills.

As long as their campaign accounts remain "active," ex-candidates can also tap funds to promote themselves in various ways.

Speculation has swirled over a possible Hardipolos bid for U.S. House next year. With Florida gaining two congressional seats in 2012 -- and one of those likely targeted for Central Florida -- the Brevard County-based lawmaker could be geographically and financially well-positioned for a run.

Haridopolos, who bowed out of the Senate contest on Monday, has said he will not seek a new office in 2012. The state Senate president has one year remaining on his term.

For now, a spot check of donors indicates that Haridopolos' supporters are sticking with him and keeping their money put.

Kim Kirtley, a partner at Policy Points, a Tampa-based political and corporate communications firm, said she has no plans to request a refund of the $4,800 she donated to Haridopolos.

"He's a great guy. Whatever he decides to do in the future will be fine," Kirtley said.

Gaston Cantens, a Florida Crystals executive whose wife, Ana, donated $2,860, said he "assume[s] Haridopolos will ask to transfer funds to some other race. No sense to refund and then redonate."

Brian Ballard, a Tallahassee-based political consultant, contributed $4,800 to Haridopolos and doesn't expect or desire to see any of that returned.

"Whatever he does with the money, I'm sure he'll follow the law and I will support him. He's a friend and I wish he was still a candidate," he said.

Ballard, who noted that he has worked with both former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and interim U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, declined to divulge which of the GOP Senate hopefuls he will support.

"I'm working with [Mitt] Romney now and my hands are full. I won't get too involved with any of them," Ballard said.

Unlike Charlie Crist, who antagonized Republican donors when he bolted the party for an independent Senate run last year, Haridopolos appears to be maintaining his base.

That's due, in part, to his powerful position as head of the state Senate. By staying put, donors presumably retain access to the president's office.

Though the Republican Party of Florida was not listed as a donor, political consultant Doug Guetzloe said Haridopolos could redirect funds for party use.

Haridopolos did not respond to Sunshine State News' requests for comment by deadline Thursday.

Chris Ingram, a Republican consultant, said, "I heard he’s going to issue pro-rated refunds once all the bills are paid. We’ll see."

Alluding to controversy surrounding Haridopolos' six-figure book deal with Brevard Community College and the ongoing federal investigation into former RPOF boss Jim Greer, Ingram said the senator may have "some skeletons in his closet he’d probably rather keep locked up.

"As such, I imagine he’ll be refunding," Ingram said.

In any event, Haridopolos' retreat appears to be generating much less acrimony and angst than Crist's pullout, which sparked bitter party complaints and even a donor lawsuit demanding reimbursement.

At the time, Crist glibly replied, "The money's all gone."

That does not appear to be the case with Haridopolos.


Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 559-4719.

Comments (1)

3:19AM OCT 13TH 2011

Wedding Gowns-The Most Recent Trends

cheap wedding dresses?are this kind of chance for just about any bride to exhibit their own fashion sense and also to really create a fashion statement.The days are gone from the style wedding dresses after some cute well-placed bow now we're venturing to differ!

Considering the recent trends,the?Cheap Quinceanera Dresses and Cheap Homecoming Dresses are most fashional in my mind,also,the Cheap Little Black Dresses,Cheap Prom Dresses?and?Cheap Evening Dresses?are elegant and generous for some prom or evening parties,other dress like Cheap Special Occasion Dresses which are available for some special occasions.

All above we just talk about some dresses,now its time for recent trend wedding dresses,the A-Line Wedding Dresses and Cheap Beach Wedding Dresses come first trend,then Cheap Simple Wedding Dresses and Cheap Modest Wedding Dresses are all simple but beautiful,and?Cheap Casual Wedding Dresses are for your some casual wedding ceremonies,on the other hand,if you want to get an accurate size,you should take the Cheap Couture Wedding Dresses into consideration.

In other aspects,some brides have some else requirements,for example,Cheap Maternity Wedding Dresses are ready for who have preganted before get married,these who have a little fat,but do not need to worry your wedding dresses,because Cheap Plus Size Wedding Dresses are suitable for you,last,other brides may will get her second wedding,then the Pink Wedding Dresses are available.

Pay more attention for your bridesmaid dresses,if she is young,Junior Bridesmaid Dresses are just ok,Cheap Bridesmaid Dresses and Inexpensive bridesmaid dresses are two methods for you to purchase her dress.At the same time,the flower girl and mother of bride are as important as bridesmaid,in this case,Cheap Flower Girl Dresses and Cheap Mother of the Bride Dresses are ready for you,wish they will love.Other members who want to join the wedding wil wear the Cheap Wedding Party Dresses.

If you cosider your budget when you purchase your wedding dress,pay more attention to Wholesale wedding dress and Discount wedding dresses.

Wedding gowns are a manifestation of the personality,so don't restrain let your imagination go wild.

However,if you want to keep your feet warm in winter,then the Hot Ugg Boots are your best choice,among which has?Ugg Classic Upside Boots Black?and?Ugg Classic Upside Boots Brown,other like?Ugg Classic Upside Boots Chestnut,last but not least,Ugg Classic Upside Boots Sand?are beautiful too.

Wish you have a warm winter.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.