Bobby Olszewski, Rene Plasencia, Anna Eskamani, lead Central Florida House campaign gains – Florida Politics

Bobby Olszewski, Rene Plasencia, Anna Eskamani, lead Central Florida House campaign gains

Five Central Florida candidates for the Florida House each raised more than $10,000 for their campaigns in November, including incumbent Republican state Reps. Bobby Olszewski, Rene Plasencia, David Santiago, and Bob Cortes along with first-time Democratic candidate Anna Eskamani.

Olszewski of Winter Garden, who took his seat after winning a special election in October, reported raising $14,000 in November — top among Central Florida candidates for the Florida House. That gave his re-election campaign about $17,000 after expenses going into December.

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He has two Democratic opponents, neither of whom reported raising any money in November. Dawn Antonis of Winter Garden began and ended November with $1,355 cash in her campaign. Matthew Matin of Winter Garden has not yet reported any campaign financial activity.

Not far behind Olszewski in fundraising for November, Plasencia of Orlando brought in $13,500 for his re-election campaign in House District 50; Eskamani of Orlando raised $13,114 in her bid for House District 47; Santiago of Deltona, $13,100 for his re-election push in House District 27; and Cortes of Altamonte Springs, $11,125 in his re-election bid in House District 30.

Plasencia finished November with just over $61,000 in his campaign fund.

He also picked up an opponent, Pamela Joy Dirschka, 63, of Titusville, who filed to run on Dec. 8, and has not filed any campaign finance reports yet.

Eskamani finished the month with more than $110,000 in cash. She faces Republican businessman Stockton Reeves of Winter Park, seeking a seat expected to be open as Republican incumbent state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park is running for Congress.

Reeves reported raising $200 in November. He entered December with about $91,000 cash in hand, though almost all of that came from a personal loan.

Santiago finished November with almost $46,000 in the bank. His opponent, Democrat Tyran Basil did not report any financial activity in November and finished the month with $1,591 in hand.

Cortes finished November with $61,000 cash in his campaign account. His challenger, Democrat Clark Anderson of Winter Park, just entered the race in the last days of November and has not yet filed any campaign finance activity.

In other raises, Republican David Smith of Winter Springs reported raising $8,907 in November in the House District 28 race. He finished November with more than $139,000 in the bank. Democrat Lee Mangold of Casselberry reported raising $1,972. He finished November with about $7,300 in his campaign. They’re both seeking to replace Republican state Rep. Jason Brodeur.

Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood reported raising $1,000, giving him about $38,500 in his re-election campaign in House District 29. His opponent Democrat Patrick Brandt of Longwood reported raising $150, finishing the month with $1,300 in hand.

In House District 31, Republican state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan reported raising $7,800 in November, and entered December with just over $18,000 in her campaign. Democratic challenger Debra Kaplan of Eustis reported raising $165, finishing the month with $4,300 in her campaign.

In House District 42, Republican state Rep. Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud reported raising $6,725, and entered December with about $42,100 for his reelection campaign. Democratic challenger Barbara Cady of Kissimmee reported raising $335, and finished November with about $3,900. Independent challenger Lonzell Ivory of Poinciana raised the first $200 for his campaign, and finished the month with that in the bank.

In House District 43, Democratic state Rep. John Cortes did not report raising any money in November, and finished the month with about $18,000 in his re-election campaign. He does not have an opponent.

In House District 45, Democratic state Rep. Kamia Brown of Ocoee did not raise any money in November and entered December with $10,350. She does not have an opponent.

In House District 46, Democratic state Rep. Bruce Antone of Ocoee did not report raising any money in November, and entered December with about $700 cash in his campaign. He does not have an opponent.

In House District 48, Democratic state Rep. Amy Mercado of Orlando reported raising $2,050, and finished November with about $17,600. She does not have an opponent.

In House District 49, Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando reported raising $2,110, and finished November with about $7,700. His opponent, Republican Pepito Aponte of Orlando, did not report any financial activity in November and entered December with $100 in his campaign.

In House District 51, three Republicans seeking to succeed outgoing Republican state Rep. Tom Goodson all had minimal campaign finance activity in November, and a Democrat entered the race in early December. Thomas O’Neill of Rockledge reported raising just $100, finishing the month with $5,900. Jeffrey Ramsey of Merritt Island did not raise any money in November, and finished the month with $15,700. Tyler Sirois of Merritt Island reported raising $150, and finished the month with $37,800.

New to the race is Michael Cavis Blake of Cocoa.

In House District 52, Republican state Rep. Thad Altman of Indialantic reported raising $1,500 and finishing the month with about $13,000. Republican challenger Matt Nye of Melbourne reported raising $2,535 in November, and entered December with $1,700.

In House District 53, Republican state Rep. Randy Fine of Palm Bay report raising $4,000. His re-election campaign entered December with about $65,000.

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

1 Comment

  1. “In House District 42, Republican state Rep. Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud reported raising $6,725, and entered December with about $42,100 for his reelection campaign.”

    How do we find out the REAL source of these monies? For example, this past October, 16th, Rep. Mike La Rosa and Sen. Greg Steube were on a panel sponsored by the Vacation Rental Managers Association at the 2017 VRMA National Conference in Orlando Florida. Panel title: “Taking Action to Protect Vacation Rentals.” Purpose: “…panelists talk about the very real dangers the vacation rental industry faces, and what to do about it.”
    La Rosa and Steube have both sponsored legislation to remove local control of short-term rentals from counties and communities, despite knowing this is not what their constituents want. LaRosa’s LinkedIn profile touts one of his company’s specialties as “short-term rental investments.” Talk about conflicts of interest! Oh, yes – the panel was moderated by a lobbyist for the vacation rental industry, Lori Killinger.

    We need legislators who will represent their constituents, NOT the vacation rental lobby – this appearance on this panel seems to be a clear conflict of interest…

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