Drew Wilson, Author at Florida Politics - Page 2 of 82

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

Kurt Jetta raised $338K for bid to unseat Lois Frankel in CD 21

Republican Kurt Jetta announced Wednesday that he raised more than $88,000 in the fourth quarter 2017 and chipped in another $250,000 of his own money for his campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel in Florida’s 21st Congressional District.

The fourth-quarter performance puts Jetta, so far Frankel’s only challenger, with $338,182 raised to date. Jetta did not say how much his campaign spent last quarter, though he pointed out out that Frankel’s GOP challenger in 2016, Paul Spain, raised a total of $26,000 that cycle.

Frankel defeated Spain 62-35 on Election Day.

Neither Jetta, nor Frankel’s end-of-year reports are viewable via the Federal Elections Commission website, though the incumbent has a substantial money lead based on her third quarter numbers.

Through the end of September, Frankel had raised $463,220 and spent $293,312 in the current election cycle. Her campaign also carried over $812,067 in unspent funds from her 2016 re-election bid, putting her with $981,976 cash on hand on Sept. 30.

Frankel received $237,737 of her 2018 cash from individual donors, and another $191,029 from political committees, the latter of which was slammed by Jetta in his fundraising announcement.

“By taking tens of thousands of dollars from Big Sugar, corporate lobbyists, the big banks that stole tens of millions from taxpayers, and trial lawyers; career politician Lois Frankel shows that she’s more at home in the swamp of Washington, D.C. than Palm Beach County. I’m deeply grateful for the support of the Palm Beach community and to the outpouring of local support for my efforts to give Palm Beach a real voice in Washington, D.C.” he said.

CD 21 covers part of coastal Palm Beach County, including Lake Worth, Manalapan, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach.

The district carries a massive advantage for Democrats, who make up 46 percent of the electorate. Third party and no party affiliated voters make narrowly edge out registered Republicans in the district, with each making up about 27 percent of the electorate.

In 2016, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton carried the district over President Donald Trump 59-39.

Senate President aspirants Travis Hutson, Dana Young continue to raise money at rapid clip

The frontrunners for the 2022 Florida Senate Presidency have spent the last few months adding funds to their political committees and, more importantly, using that money to help out a handful of potential backers when it comes time to vote in a couple years.

Sens. Travis Hutson and Dana Young are still the top contenders for the job and each has been successful on the fundraising trail since October.

Young has raised nearly $200,000 to Friends of Dana Young since October, including $68,500 in December, which put her with $690,585 cash on hand at the start of the year. The Tampa Republican also spent about $63,000 in committee cash during that span.

Much of that money went toward various consulting contracts and fundraising expenses – she is up for re-election this year, after all – though she still extended a helping hand to a pair of possible supporters.

Back in October she chipped in $10,000 to a committee supporting Clearwater Republican Ed Hooper’s campaign to replace former Sen. Jack Latvala in Senate District 16. She followed that up in December with a $1,000 check to Stuart Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell’s re-election campaign for Senate District 25, which isn’t up until 2020.

During the same stretch Hutson pulled in $114,000 for his Sunshine State Conservatives committee, though he capped off the year with $0 in contributions last month. He also spent about $25,000, leaving him with nearly $160,000 to play with as of New Year’s Day.

The St. Augustine lawmaker hit Gainesville Republican Sen. Keith Perry and Rockledge Republican Sen. Debbie Mayfield with $1,000 checks in December.

A handful of sources told Florida Politics in October that Perry had already thrown his support behind Hutson in the Senate President race, joining Mayfield as one of his key supporters.

While nothing’s been made public in the interim, Perry’s district has a Democratic lean and his chief opponent is close to the $150,000 mark in fundraising, so getting some support from Hutson’s committee puts a little weight behind the rumors he’s in Hutson’s column.

Hutson had already given Perry $1,000 in August, and last cycle he stepped in with a pair of $1,000 checks during Perry’s bruising 2016 race against former Democratic Sen. Rod Smith.

Other current or aspiring senators getting support from Hutson earlier in 2017 include Aaron Bean, Dorothy Hukill and Hooper.

Since Election Day 2016, Young has helped out the campaign account of Sen. George Gainer, as well as Rep. Ben Albritton, who is running for SD 26 this year, and Reps. Jason Brodeur and Jeanette Nuñez, who are running for senate seats in the 2020 cycle.

Capitol Reax: Workers’ comp, payday loans, vacation rentals, train safety, AOB

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a bill by Sen. Lauren Book (SB 376) that would include in the Worker’s Compensation Law benefits for first responders who sustain mental or nervous injuries such as PTSD in the line of duty.

The forward momentum for the bill got the attention of CFO Jimmy Patronis, who put out a statement Tuesday evening:

“The numbers don’t lie. More than 15 percent of firefighters reported having made at least one suicide attempt during their time in the fire service, compared to about 2 percent of the general population. Forty-six percent of firefighters reported having thought about suicide, compared to about 5 percent of the US population. These statistics are alarming and this is what we are fighting to change this session.

Our first responders arrive on any emergency scene without hesitation, without question. We can only imagine how difficult it is to face what they see daily. I’m putting the full weight of my office to increase benefits this legislative session for our first responders who suffer from PTSD. It’s time Florida step up for our fearless first responders.”

The Senate Commerce Committee voted 9-2 in favor of a bill, SB 920, that would authorize up to 208% annual interest rates for loans that are larger and have longer terms than the payday loans Florida law currently allows.

That move drew the ire of the The Florida Alliance of Consumer Protection, which thanked the two no-votes – Sens. Rene Garcia and Annette Taddeo – in a statement from Director Alice Vickers condemning the bill:

“Florida is already flooded with harmful, debt trap loans. The payday lenders believe they can sneak this one in, but we’re not having it. Loans that are designed to trap people in long-term debt at triple-digit interest rates are counter to what any person or group wants if they have the best interests of Floridians at heart. Payday lenders, unfortunately, are not among those groups.”

FACP also included a quote from Rev. James T. Golden, social action director of the AME Church:

“I am extremely disappointed in those Senators who supported a bill today that negatively impacts Black and Brown people in this state. They voted against the interest of Black and Brown people. There are too few people who have too much power to impact the lives of too many people with no power, when you define power as having the money needed to control the outcome. But, I have great faith, that before the end of this legislative session that enough people without money will demonstrate the power of faith.”

Short term rentals, such as those offered by Airbnb, were also a subject of discussion in Tallahassee Tuesday, as dozens of sign-wielding advocates gathered at the state Capitol to demonstrate in favor of bills that would end the ‘patchwork’ of local regulations governing the peer-to-peer business.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association put out its own opinion on the matter via President and CEO Carl Dover:

“FRLA’s more than 10,000 members represent a wide range of lodging accommodations, from bed and breakfasts and independent operators to corporate chains, who all share one common goal – keep visitors coming to Florida. While it’s absolutely critical in this day and age for our industry to embrace modern rental technology, unregulated short-term rentals pose a serious risk to both our tourists and residents. We urge our lawmakers not to put Florida’s world-class lodging reputation at risk for illegal commercial operators. FRLA looks forward to continuing the conversation and working closely with our legislators to protect our visitors and consumers.”

CARE FL, the main group opposing the All Aboard Florida passenger train project, cited the third death in six months of a person struck by an AAF train when it came out in favor of a pair of bills Tuesday (SB 572 and HB 525) that would up safety standards for rail projects in the Sunshine State.

The group also announced plans to hold a Jan. 29 informational meeting in Stuart – smack dab in the middle of AAF’s planned Miami-to-Orlando “Brightline” route.

CARE FL Chairman Brent Hanlon put out the following statement:

“First and foremost, we express our deepest condolences to the family members of all three victims. This is exactly why we are fighting for our communities.  Enough is enough.  We need safety measures in place that will protect our pedestrians, our school children who may walk or bike along the tracks to school, our first responders and members of our community. AAF continues to tout its commitment to safety, but three deaths during test runs indicate something is seriously wrong.”

“How many more deaths or injuries will it take before AAF acknowledges the need for enhanced safety measures?”

When one hears ‘assignment of benefits’ major home damage comes to mind, but AOB is a growing problem for auto insurers according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. To that end the, PCI cheered the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for passing a bill to crack down on fraudulent insurance claims for broken windshields.

PCI regional manager Logan McFaddin said the following in a Tuesday release:

“PCI applauds members of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for advancing SB 396 today.  With assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse in the auto glass marketplace rapidly increasing, it is imperative that we curb abusive practices associated with windshield glass repair this session.

“According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, in 2006, approximately 400 auto glass AOB lawsuits were filed against auto insurers. In 2016, nearly 20,000 lawsuits were filed.  These numbers are concerning.  Florida drivers deserve to have insurance benefits they can rely on without having to worry about some auto glass repair shops looking to take advantage of them in vulnerable situations.

“PCI encourages legislators to pass meaningful reforms this session to stop these abusive practices burdening their constituents.”

Nick DiCeglie adds endorsements from Largo elected officials

House District 66 candidate Nick DiCeglie picked up a pair of endorsements Tuesday from Largo Mayor Woody Brown and Commissioner Curtis Holmes.

“I seldom voluntarily endorse any candidate but there are occasions when the qualifications displayed by a would be leader are so outstanding that it’s warranted and that is why I wholeheartedly endorse Nick DiCeglie to be the next representative for Florida House District 66,” Holmes said. “I’ve worked with Nick on many occasions, he’ll do a great job for Largo.”

“I’m pleased to offer my support to Nick DiCeglie for my home district, Florida House District 66. Nick cares about this community and has a solid record of community involvement,” Brown added.

Holmes and Brown follow former House Speaker Will Weatherford and Seminole Vice Mayor Chris Burke in endorsing DiCeglie, who chairs the Pinellas County Republican Party and runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation.

“I’m honored to have the support of these two great leaders, Mayor Brown and Commissioner Holmes,” DiCeglie said. “They understand the needs of our community and serve with the highest level of integrity. I look forward to the opportunity to work together with them to do great things for the City of Largo.”

DiCeglie is running against St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques in the Republican Primary for HD 66, which is currently held by termed-out Rep. Larry Ahern. Also running are Democrat Alex Heeren and Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann.

Jacques currently holds the fundraising lead in the primary race with $133,000 raised and $106,302 cash on hand through the end of December, though DiCeglie has outpaced him since entering the race in September.

Through four months in the campaign, DiCeglie has raised $72,714 and had $59,427 of that money on hand heading into 2018.

HD 66 is reliably Republican, with about 10,000 more registered GOP voters than registered Democrats. Ahern has comfortably won each of his three elections in the district.

Madeira Beach incumbents face challengers on March ballot

Two Madeira Beach commission seats are up for grabs in March and four candidates qualified for the ballot ahead of the noon deadline on Jan. 12.

Voters will decide whether to give longtime District 1 incumbent Terry Lister another term or send Deby Weinstein to the five-member panel in his stead. In the District 2 race, current Commissioner Nancy Hodges is up against Eric Breslin.

The Madeira Beach Board of Commissioners consists of the mayor and four commission members. After each municipal election, a the board votes to elect a Vice-Mayor for a one-year term.

The panel meets the second Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.

The Madeira Beach elections will be held on March 13, when Pinellas County holds its municipal elections. Residents can determine which district they live in by visiting the Madeira Beach website.

More than 20 city commission or city council seats will be up for grabs in Pinellas County communities on Election Day, including seats in Belleair, Belleair Beach, Clearwater, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Kenneth City, Redington Beach, South Pasadena and Treasure Island.

In addition, the communities of Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach, Kenneth City, Pinellas Park and Treasure Island will hold mayoral elections.

More information on the offices slated for the March ballot can be found via the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website. New voters must register by Feb. 12 in order to cast a ballot in the municipal election, and those looking to vote by mail must request a mail ballot by no later than March 7.

Lauren Baer announces slew of endorsements for CD 18 bid

Democrat Lauren Baer announced Tuesday that her campaign to unseat freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast had picked up support from five elected officials and local leaders within Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

The bulk endorsement included nods from state Sen. Kevin Rader, state Rep. Matt Willhite, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, Palm Beach County Tax Collector Ann Gannon, and Jonathan Chane, the second-place finisher in the 2016 Democratic Primary for the seat.

“True leaders find solutions, work with people from all backgrounds to get things done, and fight for what they believe in. Lauren Baer is a true leader. I trust that she will take her experience and fight every day for the residents of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast,” Rader said.

Chane echoed Rader’s sentiments, adding that he was “proud” to back Baer.

Willhite said Baer was the “best candidate to represent this District’s values in Washington,” while Muoio and Gannon praised the former U.S. State Department official and CD 18 native for both her passion and experience.

“I am humbled to have the endorsement of these tireless advocates for their communities,” Baer said. “The people of Florida 18 are ready to be represented by someone who will fight every day to make sure their voices are heard in Washington. I look forward to following in the footsteps of these incredible public servants.”

Baer is running against Pam Keith in the Democratic Primary for CD 18, which covers all of St. Lucie and Martin counties as well as northeastern Palm Beach County, including Tequesta, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and part of West Palm Beach.

Earlier this month Baer announced that her campaign raised $325,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing her to-date total to $575,000. The campaign didn’t disclose her on-hand total, though she had $236,000 in the bank at the end of the third quarter.

End-of-year reports for Keith and Mast have not yet been posted by the Federal Elections Commission, but Keith had raised $150,000 through the end of September, and had $63,000 on hand, while Mast had cleared $1.6 million through the same date and had $921,000 in the bank.

Ag Commissioner candidates Matt Caldwell, Denise Grimsley raise big in December

Republican Rep. Matt Caldwell pulled in six-figures for his Agriculture Commissioner campaign last month, which was good enough for the top spot among the four candidates gunning to replace termed out Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Caldwell pulled in $39,201 for his campaign account and another $59,500 for his political committee, for a combined $101,701 raised last month. The Lehigh Acres lawmaker started 2018 with over $1 million cash on hand.

“Matt is the hardest working candidate in the race for Commissioner of Agriculture and continues to build momentum every day heading into the election year. He is outraising his opponents, has traveled more than 41,000 miles across the State since May, is the principled conservative in the race, and the only candidate that has consistently received an A rating from the NRA,” said campaign spokesman Brian Swensen in a press release touting the numbers.

Caldwell is running against Sebring Republican Sen. Denise Grimsley and former state Rep. Baxter Troutman in the Republican Primary for the cabinet post. Also running is David Walker, who is so far the only Democrat to file.

Grimsley raised $90,275 last month, $23,525 for her campaign and another $66,750 for her political committee, Saving Florida’s Heartland. The December performance was offset by more than $150,000 in spending, leaving her with about $872,000 on hand at the start of the year.

Her top donor last month was U.S. Sugar, which cut a $25,000 check to her committee the day after Christmas, followed by $7,500 contributions from Michael Margolis and Joseph Jacobs. The Automobile Club Political Action Committee, The Auto Club Group, Florida Fire-PAC and David Mack each chipped in $5,000.

Nearly half of Grimsley’s December spending, $72,000, went toward sponsoring the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, with Tallahassee-based Strategic Digital Services taking a distant second place at about $30,000 for digital media services and web advertising.

Troutman raised just $7,875 for the month and spent $50,746, marking the first time he has dipped into the $2.5 million cushion he supplied his campaign when he filed back in June.

His top donors were William and Debbie Bachshmidt of Inglis, who each cut $2,500 checks to the Winter Haven Republican’s campaign account.

The bulk of his spending came from a $30,000 payment to Tallahassee-based Meteoric Media Strategies for campaign consulting, followed by $9,500 Nashville-based Acquire Digital for website management, about $6,100 to Carlo Fassi for a consulting contract, and $5,000 to The Archmann Group for fundraising help.

He finished the year with $2.5 million on hand between his campaign account and political committee, iGrow PC, which hasn’t reported a contribution since August.

Walker continued his streak bringing up the rear with just $510 raised last month, which was wiped out by $1,778 in spending. Including $9,500 in loans, Walker has raised $15,240 since filing in mid-August and had $1,638 in his campaign account on New Year’s Day.

New crop of not-ready-for-primetimers launch congressional campaigns

There’s more than a few key races heating up among Florida’s congressional seats, but for every true competitor in a 2018 battleground district there are a dozen head-scratchers who’ve mounted hopeless House campaigns.

No, none of these candidates have sacrificed a goat as part of a pagan ritual, but it likely wouldn’t make their long-shot odds any worse if they had.

In Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, there’s Republican Judson Sapp who billed himself as a “New Republican” when he announced Friday he would challenge incumbent Ted Yoho for the Gainesville-based seat.

“He represents a bold, new path forward and a rebirth of the Republican Party as one that represents all people – not just special interests or the elites,” his campaign said in an email.

That bold new path?

He wants “to end bipartisan obstructionism and to bring integrity and accountability back to our government.”

So far, so good. How does he plan to do it?

“He plans to use his business experience to make deals…”


The race for Florida’s 7th Congressional District might actually be competitive this year.

In 2016, Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy scored a 3-point win over longtime Republican lawmaker John Mica, and the GOP is looking to win it back even if new district lines make that somewhat of an uphill battle.

Enter Vennia Francois, an Orlando Republican who announced last week she would run against state Rep. Mike Miller, businessman Scott Sturgil and a couple others in the Republican Primary for the seat.

She’s got some political experience, having worked for former Sens. Mel Martinez and George LeMieux, but man if her message isn’t a bit dusty.

“I believe in the American Dream because I have seen so many achieve it, both in my immediate family and all across Central Florida,” she said. “But there’s much more we need to do to ensure its legacy, especially for those still struggling in the wake of the Recession of 2008-2009, and I want to lead those efforts,” Francois said in her campaign’s opening message.

If Francois wants to lead the post-recession recovery, she might need to grab a time machine and head back a decade.

Moving on to her actual policy positions, she wants spearhead efforts to close tax loopholes and enact economic policies that help small businesses create even more jobs.

Oh my.

Actually, forget going back a decade. She needs to figure out who traveled to the future and stole her idea for the Republican tax plan.

Also in Central Florida, CD 10 Democratic Rep. Val Demings picked up a primary challenger this week in Wade Darius, a 36-year-old Haitian-born businessman.

Darius runs his own company, TD Homes Marketing, and claims to have helped more than 200 people get down-payment assistance for homes last year. Citing the district’s large immigrant population, the he  said his primary goal as a congressman would be helping reshape U.S. immigration policy.

Not a bad start.

Still, he managed to hamstring himself in record time by saying he wouldn’t take corporate campaign contributions and by bashing Demings’ record on police brutality. Maybe he should have asked Bob Poe how that one played out for him in 2016.

The answer: 57-17.

Then there’s Florida’s 13th Congressional District, where freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist was running unopposed until Wednesday, when Republican George Buck declared for the seat.

“George Buck, is a father of two; a son who is a professional firefighter, and daughter-in law who is a nurse. His daughter is currently studying to be a middle school math teacher at USFSP. George is a Veteran (Four years active duty and Florida National Guard), Firefighter (Ret), Professor/Author.”

Thank you for your service, George, and don’t take this the wrong way, but you or somebody close to you needs to pick up a copy of When Words Collide. There’s an impressive resume somewhere under that punctuation soup, especially when looking past the ambiguity on whether the daughter and daughter-in-law are the same person,

Also, maybe take a long, hard look at whether CD 13 is the place to run. Even well-liked former U.S. Rep. David Jolly is having a hard time seeing a path to victory for a Republican in the Pinellas-based seat.

Americans for Prosperity-Florida releases priority list for 2018 Legislative Session

Conservative group Americans for Prosperity-Florida released its priority list for the 2018 Legislative Session, giving favorable marks to legislation that would cut “corporate welfare” and regulations and voicing strong opposition to proposals that would add new regulations or incentives silos.

“We believe that Florida lawmakers have an unprecedented opportunity to push through policy objectives that can deliver more open, transparent, and efficient government. Our staff and volunteers are eager to engage on policies that will help make Florida the best state to raise a family and start a business,” said AFP-FL Director Chris Hudson in a press release.

“As Congress has just passed historic tax reform, Florida lawmakers should also seek to reduce the tax burden on citizens and businesses. We should also pursue commonsense solutions to our critical health care needs. Lawmakers should repeal certificate of need (CON) laws once and for all, and pass meaningful reforms to expand scope of practice and direct primary care. And, both chambers should pursue a clear vision to cut red tape and free Florida entrepreneurs to pursue their American Dream.”

AFP-FL gave it’s opinion on dozens of bills filed for 2018, and plans to update it regularly through session as bills change during the legislative process.

A sampling of the “support” column of the 97-bill priority list: Rep. Danny Burgess and Sen. Tom Lee’s plan to stop direct primary care agreements from being regulated as insurance (HB 37/SB 80); another of Lee’s bills, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Avila in the House, that would ban pro sports teams from building stadiums on public land (HB 13/SB 352); and a proposal from Rep. Manny Diaz and Sen. Keith Perry that would add a “one-in, one-out” rule when it comes to new rules in the Florida Administrative Code (HB 791/SB 1268).

And a handful from the “oppose” list: Rep. David Silvers’ and Sen. Annette Taddeo’s bills to create a new film incentives program (HB 341/SB 1606); A measure by Sen. Lauren Book that would require 75% of the students in a “School of Hope” to come in from a low-performing school (SB 216); and Sen. Kevin Rader’s “Florida Teacher Fair Pay Act,” which would bump the minimum salary for teachers up to $50,000 a year (SB 586).

Hudson said that AFP-FL “is looking forward to engaging in meaningful debate with lawmakers, and hope that we can continue to serve as a valuable source for how to propel policies that can make Florida a more open and free society.”

When the 2018 Legislative Session comes to a close, AFP-FL will tally up lawmakers votes and publish score cards grading how individual lawmakers fared.

Top Republican lawmakers added major cash in December

Top Republican lawmakers posted big fundraising reports for their political committees in December, with future Senate President Wilton Simpson leading the pack at $427,000 raised last month.

Simpson’s committee, Jobs for Florida, took in 31 contributions from Dec. 1 through New Year’s Eve and a pair of committees chaired by Ryan Tyson – Floridians for a Stronger Democracy and Floridians United for Our Children’s Future – combined to give the Trilby senator $100,000 during the reporting period.

Simpson, who is set to take over as Senate President after the 2020 elections, also received $50,000 contributions from U.S. Sugar and JM Family Enterprises, with $25,000 a piece coming from Anheuser Busch and Trifoliata Development.

Spending came in at $58,000 for the month, including nearly $45,000 for Capitol Finance Consulting, leaving Simpson with about $2.74 million on hand at the start of 2018.

Following Simpson was Senate President Designate Bill Galvano, who tacked on $304,550 and spent $72,842 through his political committee, Innovate Florida.

His top donor was the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which chipped in $50,000 through a pair of political committees, followed by five more donors at the $25,000 level, including public employee workers group AFSCME, Cardroom Tech, Teco Energy and Florida Power & Light.

Spending included nearly $30,000 in payments to Ground Game Solutions for fundraising consulting work, with another $25,000 heading to the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States. After spending, Innovate Florida had $790,000 on hand.

Miami Lakes Rep. Jose Oliva, who will take over as House Speaker after the 2018 elections, added $190,000 to his Conservative Principles for Florida political committee in December.

Insurance company Florida Blue gave the HD 110 Republican a whopping $75,000 across three checks, followed by Publix and FPL at $25,000 each. Businessman Greg Lindberg chipped in $20,000 and Anheuser Busch added a $15,000 check on Dec. 8.

Oliva’s committee spent just $9,000 for the month, including $5,600 for a pair of consulting invoices and a $2,500 contribution to the Orange County Republican Executive Committee. Conservative Principles for Florida started 2018 with about $802,000 in the bank.

Rep. Chris Sprowls, who is set to become speaker in 2021, also posted a six-figure haul through his his political committee, Floridians for Economic Freedom.

The Palm Harbor Republican took in $148,000 across 28 contributions, and Florida Blue was his top donor as well after giving four checks that combined to $40,000. Floridians for a Stronger Democracy and Lindberg took the No. 2 spot at $15,000 a piece, followed by the Florida Prosperity Fund at $10,000.

Sprowls spent an even $50,000 last month leaving the committee with just under $820,000 in the bank to start the year.

Spending included $33,000 in payments to Strategic Image Management for Research and Consulting and a $15,000 contribution to Citizens Alliance for Florida’s Economy, a political committee chaired by political consultant Anthony Pedicini.

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