House District 72 Democratic candidate Margaret Good has seen a flood of fundraising from the Tampa Bay area and across the nation in the last month, but in at least two cases her contributors have exceeded campaign donation limits.
Two people have given to Good in excess of $1,000 for the special election on Tuesday. Florida Statute 106.08.1 states that the limit for a campaign contribution for an individual running for legislative office is $1,000 for a primary election and $1,000 for the general election.
Henry Lord, a prominent Democrat from New Haven, Connecticut, who gave more than $326,000 to Democrats and Democratic-oriented groups in the 2016 election cycle, has made eight different contributions to Good’s campaign in January and February, totaling $1,705.
Meanwhile, Cornelle Maxfield of Bradenton made two contributions to Good’s campaign. One was for $1,000 on Dec. 10. The second contribution of $50 was registered on Feb. 5, totaling $1,050.
Governor Rick Scott signed legislation in 2013 increasing the caps on individual donations to legislative candidates from $500 to $1,000 and to statewide candidates from $500 to $3,000.
Good is running against Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall. The Buchanan camp jumped on the news, just hours before the polls open on Tuesday.
“It’s another example of Margaret’s deceitful campaign,” said Nick Catroppo, Buchanan’s campaign manager. “Her questionable judgment makes it clear that she should not be in elected office.”
According to Florida Statute 106.08 (7)(a), “Any person who knowingly and willfully makes or accepts two or more contributions in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (5) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.”
Hours after Florida Politics informed the Good campaign about the excessive contributions, it announced it had refunded the excess funds.
“We received thousands of donations from supporters all across the district that believe in our campaign and our vision for Florida. As soon as we became aware of the over-contributions, we refunded the donations and amended the report,” Good told Florida Politics.
Good campaign officials responded a bit more indignantly.
“That the Buchanan campaign would attempt to make an issue of a minor clerical error is laughable given his camp’s abuse of the campaign finance system, using untraceable money through dark money PACs to spread negative personal attacks,” said Reggie Cardozo with House Victory. “This reeks of desperation, which is understandable given that our last report reflected thousands of donations from grassroots supporters while theirs was kept afloat by his wealthy family and special interest money.”