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The Villages

Defeated Sumter commissioner transfers nearly $10,000 in campaign money to GOP

Steve Printz

A defeated Sumter County commissioner has transferred nearly $10,000 in leftover cash in his campaign warchest to the GOP.

Sumter County Commission Chairman Steve Printz was defeated Aug. 18 in the Republican primary by Villager Oren Miller.

Printz had raised $79,600 in campaign cash, far outpacing Miller who raised $2,314. Printz and fellow incumbents Don Burgess and Al Butler were the beneficiaries of a nearly $200,000 in combined campaign contributions, much of it raised from companies and contractors dependent on The Villages. Printz, Burgess and Butler all went down in a stunning defeat in the Republican Primary. The trio had been dogged by voters’ anger over a 25 percent tax increase they approved in 2019.

Printz spent the bulk of his campaign cash on a Tallahassee consulting firm which targeted voters with a direct mail campaign. Printz also spent heavily with The Villages Daily Sun.

Printz cleaned out his campaign account Sept. 4 by writing a $9,584.27 check to the Sumter County Republican Executive Committee. The SREC on June 15 donated $5,000 to the Printz campaign after endorsing the trio of incumbents in the GOP primary. Prior to the endorsement, the SREC had a history of not taking sides in primary contests.

Steve Printz and Don Hahnfeldt in 2015.

Printz was elected in 2016 to the Sumter County Commission, running as the heir to Don Hahnfeldt, a Villager who gave up his commission seat to run for the Florida House of Representatives. Hahnfeldt won that election, but died in office in 2017.

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