Republican Josie Tomkow is currently running solo in the special election for House District 39, but that hasn’t stopped her from raising plenty of money for her campaign.
Though Tomkow has not yet filed her November campaign finance report, her campaign announced the first-time politician brought in more than $50,000 last month. The campaign news release did not mention how much money Tomkow’s campaign spent during her first few weeks in the race.
“We have a remarkable team. The outpouring of support from my friends and family humbles me. No one will work harder than I will to earn the trust and support of the people who live and work in District 39,” Tomkow said in a news release.
Tomkow is running to replace former Rep. Neil Combee, who left the seat on Nov. 24 to start a new job as Florida’s State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.
Combee endorsed Tomkow before exiting the House, even over another potential Republican candidate, Polk County Commissioner John Hall, who expressed interest in running.
“Josie is ready and prepared for this next step in her public service. She will represent our area well and continue the fight for conservative values in the halls of the Florida capitol,” he said shortly after she filed.
The Auburndale Republican reiterated his support of Tomkow, 22, after some reports questioned whether she was too young for the job.
“Although I am aware she is young by time’s standard, I don’t think age should ever preclude someone from entering public service,” he wrote. “You can never be too old, or too young to want to give back to your community and help your neighbors.”
Gov. Rick Scott last week set the special primary election, which may not be needed, for Feb. 20, while the special general election is May 1.
On Tuesday, a second Republican candidate opened a campaign account to run in the special election. Bartow Republican Jennifer Higley Spath opened an account Tuesday in House District 39.
HD 39 covers parts of Osceola and Polk counties, including Polk City, Auburndale, and the outskirts of Kissimmee at its eastern border and northern Lakeland along the district’s southwestern edge. It has a strong Republican lean.