$55.8 million raised, $3 million left over for RNC

7:52 PM, Oct 18, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, FL - The Tampa Bay Host Committee said it needed to raise at least $55 million to put on this year's Republican National Convention, and apparently the non-profit did just that.

Records filed with the Federal Election Commission show the Host Committee raised a total of $55.8 million in cash, in kind services and fees.

"Everything came together in an incredibly good way," said Host Committee chair Al Austin of the convention and fundraising efforts.

The list of donors includes some well-known individuals like Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and bay area businessman Bill Edwards.

Adelson made the biggest donation, writing a check for $5 million.

But raising the money for the event was not always an easy task.

"There were days when we were genuinely concerned we would make it," Host Committee CEO and President Ken Jones admitted on Thursday.

That comment was in stark contrast to what Jones said in the months leading up to the RNC.

When questioned by reporters about fundraising during the 18-months before the convention, Jones continually insisted the Committee would have no problem raising the funds needed to put on the convention.

A breakdown of contributions provided by the Host Committee shows corporate gifts accounted for 58% of all gifts, while 71% of all contributions came from outside the state of Florida.

Jones noted that the Host Committee has a little more than $3-million dollars in the bank. He says some of that will go to cover an audit early next year, but once the non-profit has wrapped up business, the remaining money will be donated to local charities.

"I'm not interested in sending any money out-of-state to any charities, I want to do it all here in Tampa Bay," Jones said.

The next FEC filing for the Host Committee will be January 31, and Jones said early next year they also hope to have back an economic impact study they have commissioned.

Convention organizers had said the RNC would have an economic impact of around $175 million.

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