A peek inside the city council candidates’ finances

Matt Algarin
Some city council candidates have already begun to place their political signs throughout the city. This sign for Tom Weidenhamer is located in front of his Mountain Drive business, SOS Printing. The Log also spotted signs around town for Prebble Ramswell

Their war chests look more like hope chests.

With less than two months until voters take to the polls to elect city council representatives, money is trickling into Destin candidates’ campaign accounts.

"Campaign finance laws were strengthened last year to improve transparency and accountability," Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux told The Log. "Although the more aggressive changes have little effect on our local municipal candidates' reporting, Okaloosa County began requiring online filing years ago to ensure that the public has access to candidate finance information through our website."

Out of the eight candidates for the March election, all have filed campaign finance reports. Here's a look at each candidate's accounts as of Monday.

Rodney Braden had two contributions (both from himself) totaling $350. An in-kind contribution of $250 was allocated toward signs. He has spent $25 on his qualifying fee to the supervisor of elections office.

Current City Councilman Jim Foreman's only contribution is a loan to himself in the amount of $100. His only expenditure is a $25 filing fee.

Former Councilman Larry Hines has contributed $100 to his own campaign. He has spent a combined $30 on filing fees and an item labeled "voters list."

Scott Jacobs has loaned himself $50 for his campaign. His only expenditure is a $25 qualifying fee through the elections office.

Skip Overdier has also contributed $100 to his own campaign. He currently has no expenditures on file.

Matthew Pace is the only candidate to have an outside contribution. He has received a check for $100 from Willard Irving Rogers. He has a $25 expenditure for qualifying fees.

Prebble Ramswell has the most activity associated with her campaign account. She has contributions in the amount of $263.86, all of which Ramswell contributed to herself. She has allocated funds for website hosting, a phone line, and business cards, signs, magnets, shirts and stickers. Ramswell's expenditures total $30 so far.

Former City Councilman Tom Weidenhamer's only campaign contribution is for $100 from SOS Printing, a business he owns with his wife Nancy. He has spent $30 on his filing fee and a mailing list.

According to the Florida Division of Elections website, both candidates and committees are required to report detailed records of contributions, loans, expenditures, distributions, and transfers, regardless of the amount.

They must also report the full name and address of each person that makes a contribution or receives an expenditure. If the contribution is more than $100 the person's occupation must also be listed.

To follow each candidate's campaign filing reports for the duration of the election cycle, visit and search under the "Candidates" section.