Tampa City Council: The 11th Hour

Time to take stock in who-spent-how-much-on-what in a few of the high profile Tampa City Council elections. Starting with District 4:

Challenger Julie Brown sent at least eight direct mail pieces to Tampa households, the last with a picture of her newborn son, Emerson. She touted her many endorsements (including police, firefighters and any group associated with development) and stayed entirely positive. She could afford to do this because a shadow political committee, Election Watch - Florida, mailed four (count 'em, four) attack ads that blasted her opponent, incumbent Councilman John Dingfelder. One, titled "What was he thinking?" criticized Dingfelder's invitation to an atheist to lead the invocation before a City Council meeting.

Brown also bought nearly $10,000 worth of radio at Clear Channel, according to finance reports. That's enough for a decent week on WFLA 970 AM.

Dingfelder sent six positive mail pieces (two of which serve to counter Election Watch's claims that he is a tax-and-spender) and one hastily printed mailer pointing out Brown's acceptance of $20,000 in bundled campaign contributions from employees, friends and family of VW dealership owner Jason Kuhn.

Dingfelder spent about $1,100 on outdoor signs, $1,000 on ads in the St. Petersburg Times and more than $5,000 in the Tampa Tribune. (Corrected from earlier version that added an extra zero to that Times buy.)

Next up, the Shawn Harrison-Mary Mulhern race in District 2.

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