The Bucks That Back The 2014 School Board Candidates

Aug 25, 2014

The polls open up for Primary Elections Tuesday, and this cycle has brought a wealth of school board candidates. It's also brought a wealth of contributions.

Credit 2bgr8 / deviantART/Wikimedia Commons

While school board campaigns don't typically rake in the big bucks of other local and state races, the bid for a Duval County School Board seat has yielded a few heavily-backed contenders, and with that, questions about who is financing campaigns.

During a school board forum hosted earlier this month, the competing candidates were asked by an audience member about contributions they received from charter schools. None of the candidates have actually received money directly from a charter school organization, but as in past years, some candidates have received money from individuals who serve on charter school boards. For example,  John Baker, who serves on the boards of KIPP Charter and Tiger Academy has donated to several school board campaigns over the years. This year, he's contributed to the campaigns of Becki Couch, Scott Shine and Darryl Willie.

The list of campaign backers in this year's race also include board members from a few School Board 2014 Coalition partners. The coalition is led by Jacksonville Public Education Fund (JPEF) and includes WJCT. For instance, Gary Chartrand, Apryl Shackleford and Poppy Clements, who serve on JPEF's board of directors, have contributed to various school board candidates this year.  John C. Taylor, Jr. and Terry West of WJCT's Board of Trustees are among those who have donated as well. You can find a full list of campaign contributions here.  

Whether contributions from a particular group or individuals actually pose a conflict of interest is an ongoing debate, says political science expert Stephen Baker. 

Baker, a professor of the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute, has been following the local election process for nearly three decades. He spoke with WJCT’s Rhema Thompson about some of these issues and more in the upcoming election.

Here's a look at the top backers for each candidate*

DISTRICT 2

Theresa Graham

Total Raised: $2,077

Top Donors:

  • S&K Business Associates Inc. - $1,000

Sam Hall

Total Raised: $9,470

Top Donors:

  • Northeast Florida Builders Association - $1,000
  • Leah Hall - $1,000

Shannon Russell

Total Raised: $4,558

Top Donors:

  • North Florida Central Labor Council - $500
  • Duval Teachers United - $500
  • Metro Rooter - $500
  • IBEW Local #177 - $500

Scott Shine

Total Raised: $60,329

  • Steve Halverson - $1,000
  • Cynthia Edelman - $1,000
  • Gate Petroleum - $1,000
  • Gary Chartrand - $1,000
  • Russell B. Newton - $1,000
  • Lee Ann Rumell - $1,000
  • Michael Ward - $1,000
  • Kim Ward - $1,000
  • Realtors Political Action Committee - $1,000
  • Gasper Lazzara - $1,000
  • Matthew Kane - $1,000
  • Wayne Weaver - $1,000
  • ICI Home Builders - $1,000

DISTRICT 4

Darryl Willie

Total Raised: $54,438

Top Donors:

  • David Miller - $1,000
  • Nancy Chartrand - $1,000
  • Steve Halverson - $1,000
  • Wayne Weaver - $1,000
  • Roslyn Phillips - $1,000
  • John Baker - $1,000
  • Cynthia Edelman - $1,000
  • Meredith Frisch - $1,000
  • Ann Clements - $1,000
  • Oscar Munoz - $1,000
  • Dan Edelman - $1,000
  • Bill Walton - $1,000
  • Michael Ward - $1,000
  • Kim Ward - $1,000
  • Dave Goldberg - $1,000
  • Sheryl Sandberg - $1,000
  • Ellen Fitzsimmons - $1,000
  • Gary Chartrand - $1,000
  • Michael Miller- $1,000
  • Monique Miller- $1,000
  • Northeast Florida Committee for Economic Growth - $1,000
  • Arthur Rock - $1,000
  • Mark Stein - $1,000
  • Andrew Buman - $1,000
  • Ellen Wiss - $1,000
  • Harry Rummell - $1,000
  • Mahala Rummell - $1,000
  • Harry Platt -$1,000
  • Diane Halverson - $1,000
  • Jed Davis - $1,000
  • Michael Bloomberg - $1,000

Paula Wright

Total Raised: $37,030

Top Donors:

  • Jo Ann Tredennick - $1,000
  • Jack Meeks Jr. - $1,000
  • 1342 N. Laura St. (Accounting Business - No Title Given)  - $1,000
  •  1354 N. Laura St. (Real Estate Business - No Title Given) - $1,000
  • United Teachers of Dade - $1,000
  • United Teachers of Dade Tiger - $1,000
  • Duval Teachers Tiger Cope Fund - $1,000
  • Consolidated Local Union #177 - $1,000
  • Pajcic & Pajcic - $1,000
  • Nancy R. Schultz - $1,000
  • Russell B. Newton Jr. - $1,000
  • Palm Beach - Classroom Teachers - $1,000
  • The Florida Teachers Education Association Advocacy - $1,000
  • American Federation of Teachers - $1,000

DISTRICT 6

Becki Couch

Total Raised:  $26,635

Top Donors:

  • Anna Lopez Brosche - $1,000
  • Robert Clements - $1,000
  • Michael Ward - $1,000
  • Kim Ward - $1,000
  • Robert T. Shircliff - $1,000
  • Joan Newton - $1,000
  • Delores Weaver - $1,000
  • Ann Clements - $1,000
  • John Baker - $1,000
  • Joan Amery Van Vleck - $1,000
  • Martin E. Stein Jr. - $1,000
  • Wayne Weaver - $1,000
  • Cynthia Edelman - $1,000
  • Nancy Chartrand - $1,000

*This list does not include contributions made by candidates to their own campaigns. Under Florida law, campaign contributions for countywide candidates are limited to $1,000 per individual or legal entity.

Source: Duval County Supervisor of Elections 

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson.