Sarasota Republicans say state Democrats illegally funneled thousands to a Democrat running for Sarasota County Commission.
Republican Party of Sarasota acting chair Jack Brill, in a letter to the Sarasota County Attorney, accused state and county Democrats of illegally directing hundreds into the campaign accounts for three local candidates: Mark Pienkos, Cory Hutchinson and Alice White.
Most notably, the letter notes Pienkos, who is challenging incumbent County Commissioner Mike Moran in District 1, received $6,000 from the Florida Democratic Party in September, along with a $500 check from the Sarasota Democratic Executive Committee.
Financial records show he accepted two checks from the state party in September, one for $2,500 and another for $3,500. A review of total contributions shows since he launched his campaign, Pienkos collected $1,500 from the county DEC.
But Brill said the county charter forbids donations greater than $200.
“We all have to abide by the same rules, not one set of ruled for the Republican party and another for the Sarasota Democratic and the state Democratic Party,” Brill said.
Hutchinson, challenging County Commissioner Nancy Detert in District 3, and White, facing Ron Cutsinger for the open District 5 seat, both also