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State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami. (Photo: Florida House of Representatives)

Influence

Jose Felix Diaz now at $531K raised for SD 40 special election

Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz raised a monstrous $531,000 and spent $703,000 over the past six weeks according to a newly filed campaign finance report for the special election in Senate District 40.

The new report, which covers June 9 through July 20, shows Diaz with about $73,000 on hand after running through hundreds of thousands of dollars on media buys, mailers and consulting in the final sprint before Tuesday’s special primary.

DRC Consulting saw the biggest windfall, with more than $425,000 heading to the Miami-based company for Spanish and English language media buys, production, and phone banking.

The spending was partially offset by his 666 contributions, the vast majority of which came in at the $500 or $1,000 level. Small businesses, alcohol distributors, and political committees were the most common occupations among contributors, though big names such as Disney, the GEO Group and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association also made the list.

Fellow Republican and former lawmaker Alex Diaz de la Portilla had not posted his campaign finance report as of Friday evening. He had about $23,000 on hand on June 8 after loaning his campaign $50,000 and raising $22,500.

The third Republican in the race, Lorenzo Palomares, added $14,400 and spent $26,893 during the reporting period for an on hand total of $45,000. His figures were boosted by $62,500 in loans he has made to his campaign since filing for the seat in May.

Annette Taddeo also took a firm lead among the Democrats vying for the seat, which was vacated by Republican Frank Artiles in April.

The former lieutenant governor nominee and one-time congressional hopeful brought in $38,339 during the six-week stretch and spent $53,344, leaving her with about $24,000 to work with in the last few days of the primary race.

Ana Rivas Logan, Taddeo’s main competitor, raised just $2,835 and spent $5,900 for an on hand total of about $2,500 on July 20.

The winners of the special primary election will face off in a special general election on Sept. 26. SD 40 will also be on the 2018 ballot, leaving the winner of the special election little time to rest before getting back on the campaign trail.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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