Creating a war chest. Receiving checks from friends. Reaching out to previous contributors. The four candidates who are running for Marathon City Council’s two open seats — business owner Greg Coldiron, postal worker Trevor Wofsey, realtor and property owner Lynny Del Gaizo (nee Thompson) and incumbent Marathon Mayor Luis Gonzalez — have all developed their own styles for campaign financing that reflects their approaches to local politics.

For example, Greg Coldiron set aside the healthy amount of $50,000 for his campaign. He said he already has experience helping out with the campaigns of his ex-wife Michelle Coldiron, who is a former Marathon Councilwoman and is the current Monroe County Mayor. He also said he organized very large events for a national brand and had business holdings to support the endeavor, running from a trucking terminal to ownership of an ice company.

“I self-funded $50,000. It’ll probably take 30. I’ll make up a lot of that. It’s starting to roll in,” he said, pointing out that he had a successful meet-and-greet at the Shady Palm Art Gallery on Sept. 10. “In the meantime I have to buy ads in the Weekly, radio time and the swag and the yard signs. And it’s amazing how much money it takes to run a small local election.”

The Monroe County Supervisor of Elections reports that Coldiron’s total contributions so far add up to $52,820 and he has spent $21,307.31 so far.

“This shouldn’t be a beauty contest,” he said about his campaign. “Marathon is a business. The choice should be who has business skills and experience. I think leadership matters.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections says that candidate Trevor Wofsey has had $1,800 in contributions, $840 of which has been spent just to file with the supervisor to be a candidate. He will also be buying campaign signs.

“My contributions are from people I see every day. They know how hard I work, and how much I love the community,” said the Marathon postal worker. “I hope to raise more money in October. I used annual leave to secure time off.”

Wofsey feels strongly that Marathon needs a working-class man on the council.

“Some people are starting out with war chests, but I’m out there working. I think the city wants a family man, a working man, a Little League coach. I clean the beach every weekend, and I’m a part of the Sheriff’s Academy. … My 9-year-old daughter is excited for the campaign, and she might go door-knocking with me.”

Mayor Luis Gonzalez says he has been reaching out to past contributors for his campaign funds. Per the Supervisor of Elections, he has collected $21,420 from such donors as Chris-Tel Construction, Sheriff Rick Ramsay and GA Contractors. He has spent $4,183.92 so far.

“I’ve spent money on signs, campaign materials like T-shirts, hats — just giveaways that you give to the citizens. We will be spending a chunk of money advertising in the newspaper and on radio stations. We’re going to be hitting the mailers pretty heavy. They’re a large expense.”

Gonzalez said he’s working just as hard on his second campaign as he did on his first.

“I’ve always advocated for the citizens of Marathon, and I will make their issues my concerns,” he said.

The fourth candidate, Lynny Del Gaizo, also feels strongly about protecting the quality of life of Marathon residents.

“I’m passionate about keeping Marathon as our quaint Island life that provides the best services, facilities and community possible for the people that live here,” said Del Gaizo.

She has collected $8,925 in contributions and has spent $2,627.60.

“I’m spending money on radio ads and newspaper ads and signs. Asking for money, for me, is hard. The people who have given have been family, friends and neighbors, which has been very exciting for me. I don’t know how much money I’m supposed to have. I still have stuff to purchase, such as pamphlets and things. Shirts.”

Del Gaizo is reluctant to have gatherings for a fundraiser or a meet and greet. “I have not done a meet and greet because of Covid, and a few people dear and close to me have passed away. I’m going business to business, door to door. … Health is a concern for our residents.” 

Marathon Council elections are at-large, meaning that regardless of the number of candidates, the top vote getters are elected to the two open seats in November. Absentee ballots go out on Sept. 23, while early voting starts Oct. 18. For more information, call the Supervisor of Elections at 305-292-3416 or email

Charlotte Twine
Charlotte Twine fled her New York City corporate publishing life and happily moved to the Keys six years ago. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Allure, and Offshore magazines;; and the Florida Keys Free Press. She loves her two elderly Pomeranians, writing stories that uplift and inspire, making children laugh, the color pink, tattoos, Johnny Cash, and her husband. Though not necessarily in that order.