Final campaign reports reveal Wilton Manors candidates were philanthropic with their surplus funds.
Mayoral candidate Julie Carson had nearly $9,000 leftover after the election. Carson distributed some of her remaining funds to the Pride Center, Equality Florida, Wilton Manors Entertainment Group, The Pet Project, City of Wilton Manors, Broward County Audubon Society, Broward Sierra Club, Mental Health America of Southeast Florida, Julian’s Fountain of Youth and Ruth’s List Florida.
Carson’s Pride Center donation was $500 in honor of Transgender Remembrance Day. Her $250 donation to the Wilton Manors Entertainment Group was designated for the Sculpture Walk and $150 went to the city’s Justin Flippen Bridge Project.
Scott Newton’s final campaign account report started with $4,768.40. Newton, who defeated Carson in a close election for mayor, donated $2,808.31 of his remaining funds to charitable organizations and schools — the largest amount was a $600 donation to Manor Lanes Youth Bowling.
The mayor’s other beneficiaries were: Redland Dog Rescue of Homestead, Paw Patrol Dog Rescue of Miami, Wilton Manors Historical Society, Wilton Art, Inc., Wilton Manors Elementary, Wilton Manors Friends of the Library and Fort Lauderdale High School.
Celebrity Chef Josie Smith-Malave, who came in a distant third in the mayoral election, used her remaining funds of $413.99 to repay a campaign loan.
In the commission race Mike Bracchi and Chris Caputo prevailed among the field six candidates. Bracchi’s campaign termination report shows he donated $627.31 to four charitable organizations — Wilton Manors Friends of the Library, Wilton Manors Historical Society, Wilton Manors Art Walk and the South Florida Audubon Society.
Caputo donated $503.86 to charity, his major beneficiary was the Smart Ride ($333.86).
Doug Blevins, who came in third, donated $1,986 to the city’s Wilton Drive trees and street project. Juan Melecio donated $31.08 to the Pet Project. Joseph Sansone’s final campaign report shows no distributions.
Jason Basilico has not filed his campaign termination report. Termination reports were due 75 days after the election. In his last campaign finance report, Basilico had a surplus of $2,390.69. The Gazette tried to reach the Basilico campaign but telephone messages were not returned.
City Clerk Faith Lombardo said candidates must show how they dispersed surplus funds in their termination report, per state rules. Candidates can use any remaining money to pay staff, loans, debt, close offices, purchase thank you for advertising or donate to charities.
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