The upcoming mayoral and city council election on March 13 has been more contentious — and more costly — than in years past.
The seven candidates (two for mayor, five for three council seats) have received a total of $77,051.94, and there’s a pattern behind each major donation, which is categorized as the maximum $1,000 amount that a person or a business can donate to a candidate to use for campaign expenditures.
Incumbent Mayor Scott Fischer, incumbent councilwoman Prebble Ramswell and incumbent councilman Rodney Braden are heavily supported by businessman and Holiday Isle landowner David Bobo.
Mayoral candidate Gary Jarvis is supported by Daniel Grant of Tallahassee and developer Peter Bos.
Bos, through his holding companies, also supports council candidates Mark Robertson and Teresa Hebert.
Incumbent Mayor Scott Fischer has raised $14,400, more than double what he raised for his 2016 campaign — but still far behind his challenger.
Scott has received three $1,000 donations from David Bobo, who owns property on Holiday Isle. The three donations were made through Bobo’s Lexington, Kentucky-based companies, Crimson Coal Company, Crimson Management Company and Southern Coast, LLC.
Save Destin’s Skyline & Beaches, also donated $1,000 to Fischer’s campaign. The nonprofit is listed as inactive, according to the Florida Department of Corporations, and is owned by Scott and Diana Monson. Diana passed away last summer after battling cancer.
Mayoral candidate Gary Jarvis has raised $32,010 — over $18,000 more than Fischer — with 25 major contributions. Four of the $1,000 donations came from Daniel Grant, who is the president of DG Medical in Tallahassee. He contributed two personal donations; one through his wife, Jamie, and two through his companies, DG Medical and Gulf Coast Surgical.
Three of Jarvis’ major donations come from developer Peter Bos. Two were through Harborwalk Charter Services and Harborwalk Village, and one was a personal donation in Bos’ name.
Other major contributors include Timothy Taylor, who donated $2,000 total; one as a personal donation and one through his company, Ocean Reef Realty. Pete Knowles, Claude Perry Sr., and brothers Jason and Jeremy Sprenkle all donated cash through their respective companies as well.
The candidates running for city council have also raised significantly more funds in this election cycle as compared to 2016.
Candidate Mark Robertson leads the city council candidates in donations with a total of $9,762.16. His two $1,000 donations came from Destin Marina Services, which traces back to Teresa Bos through two separate holding companies, and from Matthews & Jones, LLP, owned by lawyer Dana Matthews. He has also received a $500 donation from 360 Blue Inc., owned by Jason and Jeremy Sprenkle, as well as a $500 donation from Josh McLean through Five Star Properties.
Incumbent councilman Rodney Braden raised $6,640, putting him in second place for monetary donations for the council race. He received two major donations from Scott Monson of Save Destin’s Skyline & Beaches and three from David Bobo’s Kentucky-based businesses (Crimson Coal Corporation, Crimson Management, and Southern Coast, LLC). Braden also received a $500 donation from Destin Seafood Club, which is owned by Rebecca Destin according to the Florida Division of Corporations website.
Incumbent councilwoman Prebble Ramswell has received six major campaign contributions and has raised a total of $6,519.78. The pattern from Fischer and Braden’s campaign contributions list continues, as David Bobo contributed a total of $3,000 through his respective companies to Ramswell’s campaign. That brings Bobo’s total contributions for this election cycle to $9,000. Spouses Dewey and Rebecca Destin donated $1,000, and Save Destin’s Skyline & Beaches also donated $1,000, bringing Scott Monson’s total city election contributions to $4,000.
Council candidate Skip Overdier’s total donations come to $4,770. He received major donations from Jason and Jeremy Sprenkle of 360 Blue, LLC, bringing their total city election contributions across all candidates to $2,500. Josh McLean of Five Star Beach Properties donated $500, as did Destin resident Michael Hasch.
Council candidate Theresa Rose Hebert raised a total of $2,950 — the lowest amount in this election cycle — with one major contribution from Harborwalk Charter Services, which traces back to Teresa Bos, and two $500 contributions: one from herself, and one from Josh McLean of Five Star Properties, who donated a total of $2,500 in this election.
All campaign contributions are available for viewing on the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Election’s website at www.govote-okaloosa.com.