Fundraising lull settles in for Nassau County School Board runoffs

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The hot campaign season for School Board races across Florida hasn’t appeared to warm up Nassau County’s runoffs just yet, and that metaphorical unseasonable chill extends to the campaigns’ fundraising.

School Board member Jamie Deonas is in his first contested election, despite running twice before, and cleared the District 1 Primary with 33.7% of the vote. That was good enough for second behind Shannon Hogue, who claimed 46.6%.

Deonas has more than $13,000 on hand, which he has yet to tap into — he laid off any serious spending before the Primary, and the last expenditure was in late July, a $865 reimbursement to himself for campaign materials.

He did pick up $500 on Aug. 8, from the Northeast Florida Committee for Economic Growth, which is funded primarily by home construction industry companies. The committee also gave Primary money to outgoing Nassau County Commissioner Aaron Bell and Duval County Republican Party Chairman Dean Black, who won the GOP Primary for House District 15 and faces write-in opposition in November.

Similar to Deonas, Hogue doesn’t show a lot of activity in her campaign finance reports. She raised $450 the two days after the Primary, collected from 16 people. Around $438 was already spent for a Primary night election watch party at Amelia Tavern.

Regardless of the lack of intervention so far by some of the state’s other political powers, Deonas acknowledged the political atmosphere when restating his priorities if re-elected.

“As a lifelong conservative, I believe in smaller government, individual freedom, and parental rights,” he said. “It is the job of our wonderful teachers to educate, not indoctrinate.”

In the other race, Curtis Gaus and Albert Wagner are competing for the seat in Deonas’ former district, District 3.

Gaus put another $2,000 into his campaign before the Primary, and spent nearly that much in the days immediately preceding the Primary, buying ads with the Westside Journal and the News-Leader’s media group. In a similar vein, Wagner gave his campaign $1,000 before the Primary and only picked up one $100 contribution since. 

Wagner’s last expenditures were also before the Primary — ad buys with the Buzztown Media Group and Westside Journal in Callahan.

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