Central Florida lawmakers raising re-election cash Wednesday night - Florida Politics

Central Florida lawmakers raising re-election cash Wednesday night

A joint fundraiser for four Central Florida Republicans is set for Wednesday evening at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

The 5:30 p.m. reception will benefit the re-election accounts of Altamonte Springs Rep. Bob Cortes, Winter Garden Rep. Robert “Bobby O” Olszewski, Longwood Rep. Scott Plakon and Orlando Rep. Rene Plasencia.

The four incumbents will be joined by incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva as well as Palm Harbor Rep. Chris Sprowls and Palm Coast Rep. Paul Renner, who are in line to succeed Oliva as House Speaker following the 2020 and 2022 elections, respectively.

Cortes, who represents HD 30, will face the winner of a three-way Democratic primary during the Nov. 6 general election. He had $113,500 in the bank on July 20, putting him far ahead of the top Democratic fundraiser, Joy Goff-Marcil, who had raised $24,000 through the same date.

HD 30 straddles the border of Seminole and Orange counties and was one of only a handful of seats  to elect a Republican representative while voting in favor of Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket two years ago.

Olszewski, who was elected to HD 44 in a 2017 special election, faces Democrats Margaret Melanie Gold and Geraldine Thompson, a former state representative and senator, in his bid for a full term.

He’s in good position, however, with just shy of $100,000 in the bank, compared to $38,000 banked, most of it loans, for Gold and $3,300 for Thompson.

Plakon is running for his third term representing HD 29, which covers part of western Seminole County, including Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Wekiwa Springs and part of Sanford.

As of July 20, he’d raised more than $95,000 for his re-election bid and had $82,000 in the bank. His will face the winner of a two-way Democratic primary between Tracey Kagan and Darryl Block. Kagan is leading the primary, fundraising wise, with nearly $35,000 raised including loans and $21,400 in the bank.

Plasencia is the only one of the four who has a challenger in August. He faces fellow Republican George Collins in the primary, the winner of which will go up against Pam Dirschka in November.

As of last check-in, Plasencia was far in the lead money wise with more than $160,000 raised and more than $50,000 banked. Collins has raised $18,270, most of it loans, and has $13,000 on hand, while Dirschka has raised about $9,000 and has about $7,500 at the ready.

More information on Wednesday’s fundraiser, as well as a form to RSVP, can be found on the Republican Party of Florida’s House Majority website.

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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