BY BUDDY NEVINS
County Court Judge Ian Richards’ successful effort to gather enough signatures to avoid a filing fee has left his re-election campaign with just $4,900.
Richards has gone through $34,097 to date.
The judge apparently spent at least $8,600 to save $5,400 in filing fees.
Richards paid a Hollywood firm over $8,600 in February. That firm is described as a “petition drive management corporation” on the Linkedin page of its owner Linda Roosna.
Richards was actively soliciting signatures during February to get on the ballot by petition.
He turned in more than the 11,405 signatures that he needed — 1 percent of Broward’s voters — earlier this month, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office.
On the surface, it seems like Richards’ effort was financially foolish. He spent at least $3,200 more than he will save.
But a petition drive accomplishes a lot more than avoiding the filing fee. Richards now has the name of thousands of supporters who could make the difference in what is certain to be a low turnout race…if he can follow up and get them to the polls.
The judge is largely self-financing his campaign.
He has raised only $2,421, but kicked in $36,540 of his own.
Richard has already spent $34,097 — the bulk of the money he earmarked for the campaign. It is against the advice of most political consultants to spend that much money this early in the campaign.
His opponents are Jonathan Kasen and Claudia Robinson.
Kasen has raised $40,675 and loaned the campaign $25,000 of his own. He has only spent $3,913.
Robinson has raised and spent less than $1,000.