fundraising Archives - Page 2 of 55 - Florida Politics

Kimberly Overman trailing Todd Marks in Hillsborough District 7 campaign cash

Todd Marks is leading the campaign finance charge in the Hillsborough County District 7 race by more than double, according to the most recent campaign finance reports available.

Marks has raised $244,000 as of the end of September. His closest competitor, Democrat Kimberly Overman, raised $112,000. A Green Party candidate, Kim “Klarc” O’Connor, has just $26,000.

Marks pulled in $68,000 during the last two weeks of September. He received 106 individual contributions, half of which were for the maximum allowable under Florida election law, $1,000.

Only five of his contributions were for less than $100.

Marks took a surprise victory in the Republican Primary for the countywide seat after being massively outraised by Aakash Patel who pulled in nearly $500,000 during the campaign. He’s running for the seat currently occupied Republican Al Higginbotham who is not seeking re-election.

Marks, a Tampa attorney, brought in dozens of contributions from real estate and land development companies and groups. He also received several notable contributions including $1,000 each from the Kimmins Corporation and Kimmins Construction. Friends of Dana Young, a political action committee supporting Florida Senator Dana Young and other conservative candidates, donated $1,000.

TECO also dropped $1,000 on the conservative candidate.

Marks spent $3,400 during the most recent campaign finance reporting period. Of that about $1,900 went to Lutz-based Swift Advisory Services for campaign work and $1,250 to political consultant and former defeated Hillsborough County School Board candidate Kelso Tanner for campaign consulting.

Marks has $83,000 left in his campaign coffers.

His closest competition, Overman, only has $12,000 left in the bank. She raised $35,000 during the final two weeks of September and spent $36,000.

Overman received 83 individual contributions including a $20,000 cash infusion from the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. More than a third of Overman’s contributions were from Hillsborough County residents who cut checks for less than $100 each.

The Plumbers and Pipefitters political action committee dropped $1,000 on the Democrat, as they’ve done in other local races supporting Democrats. Tampa City Council members Luis Viera and Harry Cohen each contributed $100 and $250, respectively. Cohen is running to replace Bob Buckhorn as Tampa Mayor.

Ray Chiaramonte, former executive director of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority and Overman’s former opponent in the County Commission primary, donated $100.

Current Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp kicked in $250 and Gilbert Sainz, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner’s husband, donated $250.

Overman also received $500 from a Democratic Muslim group and two local workers unions.

Overman spent $20,000 on advertising with Visual Communications in Tampa, $12,000 to State Craft Digital in Orlando for digital campaign material and $2,000 to Tampa-based Good Guy Signs.

O’Connor also spent money on advertising with the USF Oracle ($1,500) and the Osprey Observer ($400). Those two ad buys are strategic moves for a liberal Green Party candidate trying to capture young and environmentally conscious voters.

Though the countywide seat Overman and O’Connor are seeking has been held by a Republican for more than a decade, an increase in voter engagement during the Trump-era could give liberal candidates a decent shot by capturing higher percentages of the urban votes in the downtown core and lower-income communities.

Stephen Lytle

Stephen Lytle raises $32K in 30 days for Tampa City Council bid

Stephen Lytle has gotten off to a fast start in his bid to replace exiting Tampa City Councilmember Yvonne Yolie Capin in the District 3 council seat.

Lytle, a University of South Florida alumnus, launched his campaign at the end of August, and said Tuesday that he’d raked in more than $32,000 in campaign contributions through the end of September.

“It has been a truly humbling experience to take on the challenge of running for Tampa City Council. At the same time the outpouring of support I have seen from my neighbors, friends, and family has been absolutely encouraging,” Lytle said in a press release. “They understand that together we can achieve more than any single person ever could.”

Lytle, 36, has not yet uploaded his new campaign finance report, though he was able to raise $4,110 on the last day of August and entered September with all of that cash in the bank. The release announcing the fundraising numbers claims the report will beat out all other City Council candidates in unique donors for a monthly reporting cycle.

“I believe that residents across the entire city can rally around the concerns I see as essential to Tampa building a more prosperous future,” Lytle said. “Strong, empowered neighborhoods, sound fiscal policy, and improving our city’s infrastructure are issues that I am ready to tackle now to help Tampa move forward.”

In addition to the fundraising success, Lytle has already amassed a long list of endorsements, including one from state Rep. Jim Boyd, a Bradenton Republican.

Also competing for the at-large district are former Councilmember John Dingfelder, who was in office from 2003 through 2010, and real estate agent Vibha Shevade, who entered the race on Sept. 9.

Dingfelder currently holds a cash lead in the race with about $90,000 raised $84,000 in the bank. His tally includes a $50,000 candidate loan he used to jumpstart his campaign in March. Outside of that report, his best effort thus far is the $10,025 he posted in May.

All seven Tampa City Council seats will be up for grabs in the March 5, 2019, municipal election, when Tampa voters will also choose who will succeed exiting Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

The only incumbents running for re-election next year are Guido Maniscalco, who is unopposed in the District 6 race, and Luis Viera who is up against Quinton Robinson.

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell nabs $1.6M in latest fundraising period

The Debbie Mucarsel-Powell campaign says the third quarter has been kind to the candidate, with $1.6 million in new donations pouring in to the Democrat’s coffers.

Mucarsel-Powell is attempting to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

The campaign says it received contributions from more than 70,000 unique donors. Numbers from the Curbelo campaign were not yet available on the Federal Election Commission‘s website.

Mucarsel-Powell came out ahead of Curbelo in the previous fundraising period, topping his numbers by more than $60,000.

The money race could be even more important than usual in the CD 26 contest. A recent report from Kantar Media cited by David Wright of CNN showed the CD 26 race tops in the country in terms of money spent on TV ads

The race is one of the tightest in the country as well. While some analysts give Curbelo a slight advantage, others see the race as a true toss-up.

A recent pair of Democratically-aligned polls, including one from the Mucarsel-Powell campaign, showed the same thing. A New York Times poll from last month had Curbelo ahead by 3 points, well within the margin of error.

Anthony Rodriguez takes cash lead over Robert Asencio

There’s a new cash-on-hand leader in the race for House District 118.

Republican challenger Anthony Rodriguez now leads Democratic incumbent Robert Asencio, according to the latest reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

Rodriguez earned a whopping $70,100 Sept. 15-28.

That was bolstered by an influx of $46,000 from the Republican Party of Florida, along with a series of $1,000 donations from various political committees.

Most of the money spent by Rodriguez was on phone banks, mailings and door-to-door canvassing.

In total, he spent $18,546 during the period. Rodriguez now has more than $110,000 on hand.

That surpasses Asencio’s $84,000 and change. Asencio earned just $15,901 during the latest reporting period. He spent even more than that—$16,316—mostly on advertising.

Asencio was recently joined on the campaign trail by U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.

HD 118 covers parts of Miami-Dade County including Tamiami and Kendall. Both Asencio and Rodriguez were unchallenged in their respective primaries.

Anna Eskamani Canvass

Anna Eskamani: Stockton Reeves ‘everything wrong with politics’

Democratic HD 47 candidate Anna Eskamani has been on the receiving end of several campaign mailers that painting her as “everything wrong in politics” over language she’s used in public appearances.

On Monday, however, she parried that attack by throwing it right back at Republican rival Stockton Reeves.

“The majority of Stockton’s campaign is funded by himself, the Republican Party of Florida and special interests,” Eskamani said. “We should remember that my opponent’s largest contributor is the same political party who slashed funding for affordable housing, stripped away resources for environmental conservation, and never expanded Medicaid.

When it comes to Reeves’ campaign finances, he has indeed received the vast majority of his funds from himself, the Republican Party of Florida and the industries that Eskamani singled out, including fossil fuel companies, the sugar industry, tobacco companies, greyhound racetracks and businesses that pay employees minimum wage.

To date, Reeves’ has juiced his campaign account with about $95,000 in candidate loans with nearly $49,000 of his $131,500 in fundraising coming from RPOF. Most of his other donors are corporations and political committees. He had $75,000 left to spend on Sept. 28

“It’s no wonder Stockton is so focused on smearing me with superficial attacks versus actually talking about the issues that matter most to Central Floridians,” Eskamani continued. “He’s been bought out by special interests, and we don’t need another political insider like Stockton Reeves in Tallahassee.”

By comparison, Eskamani has raised nearly $373,000 in hard money as well as nearly $72,000 more for her affiliated political committee, People Power for Florida, including nearly 3,000 contributions from individuals chipping in $100 or less. As of Sept. 28, she had $82,000 banked between the two accounts.

The scorching statement comes just after Eskamani released a new campaign ad saying Florida Republicans “should be afraid” of her candidacy because she will “fight the special interests that profit from our broken system.”

The Monday release also cited a recent poll from NBC and the Wall Street Journal that showed Democrats and Republicans were equally concerned about “reducing the influence of special interests and corruption in Washington.”

Eskamani’s campaign said it thinks voter sentiment will be consistent in that view when it comes to Tallahassee.

HD 47 covers north-central Orange County and is currently held by Republican Rep. Mike Miller, who vacated the seat to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy in Florida’s 7th Congressional District.

The seat has a slim Democratic advantage in voter registrations and it was held by current Democratic Sen. Linda Stuart before Miller edged her out by four points in the 2014 cycle. He followed that up with a 6-point win over Democrat Beth Tuura in 2016, when the seat voted plus-11 for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Chip LaMarca widens HD 93 fundraising lead

Republican candidate Chip LaMarca remains well ahead in fundraising in the race for House District 93.

LaMarca pulled in another $53,344 from Sept. 15 to 28, bringing his overall fundraising total to $418,245. He also spent $21,055 during the same period, most of which went toward consulting, advertising and campaign signs.

That leaves LaMarca with just over 331,000 on hand.

His Democratic opponent, Emma Collum, brought in just $9,071 from Sept. 15 to 28. The vast majority of those donations were individual contributions between $25 and $100. Collum’s campaign is now sitting on $51,443, less than 1/6 of LaMarca’s total.

But Collum also earned an ‘angel donation‘ of $200,000 back in June, which erases much of that deficit.

The latest numbers come from reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

Collum has been an outspoken critic of Brett Kavanaugh, who was recently sworn in as the next Supreme Court Justice, as well as his Republican defenders.

Though Broward County typically leans Democratic, HD 93 has been an exception. Term-limited state Rep. George Moraitis, a Republican, won his 2016 race by about 8 percentage points.

Mike Caruso outraises Jim Bonfiglio by $30K in latest period

Democratic candidate Jim Bonfiglio remains on top of the cash-on-hand contest in House District 89. But for the second straight reporting period, Republican Mike Caruso is closing that gap.

Bonfiglio actually spent more than he brought in from Sept. 15 to 28. His campaign earned $4,083 but spent $5,149. That leaves him with $74,712 to spend in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Caruso was well ahead of Bonfiglio in the latest reports, bringing in $34,045. He dropped $10,738 in the same period, giving Caruso $37,892 in cash, about half of Bonfiglio’s total.

Caruso has actually raised far more than Bonfiglio overall, but was forced to spend heavily in his primary contest against Matt Spritz. Bonfiglio was able to secure the Democratic nomination without heavy spending.

Many of Caruso’s donations this period came from various political committees such as Daniel Perez‘ Conservatives for a Better Florida, Florida HIV AIDS PAC, and Florida Beer Wholesalers Political Committee. The Republican Party of Florida also dropped $20,000 into the race.

The contest is expected to be close. Term-limited Republican state Rep. Bill Hager showed some vulnerability in previous elections. HD 89 covers coastal portions of Palm Beach County.

David Perez SD 36

David Perez edges Manny Diaz in latest fundraising haul

The candidates for Senate District 36 were in a virtual dead heat in the latest fundraising period, each approaching $100,000 raised between their respective campaigns and political committees.

David Perez, the Democratic nominee, earned just $12,645 in donations to his campaign from Sept. 15 to 28. But his political committee, Floridians for Change, brought in $84,600 during the same period for a total of $97,245.

His republican opponent, Manny Diaz, hauled in $70,000 to his campaign. That was bolstered by $27,000 in donations to his political committee, Better Florida Education. That left him just $245 short of Perez, with $97,000 raised in total.

Diaz maintains a hefty cash-on-hand lead on Perez, however. Between his campaign and political committee, Diaz is sitting on nearly $180,000. That compares with just over $35,000 for Perez.

This is an open race, as incumbent state Sen. Rene Garcia is term-limited. The outgoing Republican has endorsed Diaz as his successor.

The district covers an inland portion of northern Miami-Dade County including Miami Lakes, Hialeah, and Miami Springs.

felon voting rights (Large)

Billionaires, Ben & Jerry’s back felons’ rights amendment

The committee sponsoring the “Voting Restoration Amendment,” which would restore voting rights to Florida felons who have completed their sentences, added more than $600,000 to its coffers during the last full week of September.

Floridians for a Fair Democracy, which led the drive to get Amendment 4 on the ballot, received 138 contributions for the week of Sept. 22 through Sept. 28. More than 100 of those receipts came in from individuals who gave $250 or less, but the top end of the donor roll featured some heavy hitters.

Florida–based philanthropist Marsha Laufer, the wife of Henry Laufer, chipped in $250,000, the same amount she gave Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum earlier in the month. Boston billionaire Seth Klarman also showed up with a check for a quarter million, with a quartet of individuals and entities combining for another $85,000 in contributions.

Those donors were Palm Beach retiree Jeffery Walker, the Citizens Participation Project, van Ameringen Foundation head Henry van Ameringen and Oakland, Calif.-based lawyer Scott Handelman.

Floridians for a Fair Democracy, chaired by Desmond Meade, also received nearly $95,000 worth of “in-kind” support for the weeklong reporting period. Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s was the source of about $56,000 of that support via digital advertising, while the American Civil Liberties Union provided more than $11,000 in staff time.

The $602,277 rake is the committee’s best since its report covering the two weeks leading into the Aug. 28 primary election when it raised $1.25 million. With Nov. 6 fast approaching, however, Floridians for a Fair Democracy outspent those receipts, posting more nearly $1.12 million in expenditures.

New York City-based Mercury Public Affairs received $400,000 of those funds for a digital ad buy, followed by Virginia-based Screen Strategies Media with a $370,200 media buy payment and Connecticut-based Mission Control and Miami-based Accurate Business Systems receiving a combined $321,000 for direct mail campaigns.

Floridians for a Fair Democracy set up shop in 2014 but didn’t begin raising money in earnest until after the 2016 general election. Since then, it has reeled in more than $15 million in contributions, with more than a quarter of those funds coming from the ACLU.

The committee has also had some outside help in its push for the Voting Restoration Amendment. Second Chances Florida produced a series of ads for the committee to help in the Amendment 4 push last month, and a joint effort by the Alliance for Safety and Justice and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition followed up with its own separate media buy.

Most recent surveys show Amendment 4 has broad support among Florida voters. A mid-September measure by North Star Opinion Research found the ballot amendment was supported by 74 percent of voters and a University of North Florida poll released the same week found the amendment up 71-21 percent, well over the 60 percent ballot initiatives need in order to make the Florida Constitution.

A Florida Chamber of Commerce poll from last week was less optimistic, however, finding only 42 percent of voters were firmly behind Amendment 4 compared to 20 percent in the “no” camp with more than a third of voters undecided.

Overall, there are about 1.7 million convicted felons in the Sunshine State. Amendment 4 would restore voting rights to the vast majority of those individuals with the only carveouts being felons convicted of sex offenses or murder.

The current voting rights restoration system requires felons to wait up to seven years after their conviction to apply for restoration, which is handled on a case-by-case basis by the Governor and Cabinet.

Election Day is Nov. 6.

slot machines

Tampa Bay Buccaneers top $1.4M report for anti-Amendment 3 committee

The political committee opposing a constitutional amendment to limit gambling expansion in the Sunshine State raised more than $1.45 million between Sept. 22 and Sept. 28 with the help of a $500,000 infusion from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The committee, known as Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3, tacked on $1.45 million during the late-September reporting period. Other six-figure donors included Los Angeles-based Elevated LLC at $400,000, the St. Petersburg Kennel Club at $250,000, Cardroom Tech at $145,000, and Citadel of Florida chipping in $100,000.

The haul was offset by nearly $720,000 in spending, almost all of which headed to The Stoneridge Group, an Alpharetta, GA-based company that provided the pro-gaming committee with direct mail services.

As of Sept. 28, Citizens for the Truth About Amendment 3 had raised just shy of $6 million to date and had nearly $4.2 million left to spend.

The committee is one of two major outfits formed to oppose Amendment 3, which would give Florida voters the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling” in the state. The other has committee working against the amendment is Vote NO on 3, which raised $250,000 during the same week-long reporting period.

Vote NO on 3 received all of that money from West Flagler Associates, the parent company of Miami’s Magic City Casino. The company has staked the committee with every dime of the $900,000 it has raised since being formed in early July.

The group also spent about $180,000 for the week, and like it’s fellow anti-Amendment 3 committee nearly all of that cash headed direct mail campaigns, this time through Washington-based MDW Communications.

Vote NO on 3 finished the reporting period with $77,000 in the bank.

Voters In Charge, the political committee sponsoring Amendment 3, reported no income in its new report, though it has vastly outraised the anti-Amendment three committees.

It brought in $10 million during the Sept. 15 through Sept. 21 reporting period and has so far raised $36.75 million. It had $14.65 million of that cash on hand on Sept. 28.

Voters in Charge has received a heavy amount of support from Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, who both have a stake in limiting the expansion of gambling in the state.

Amendment 3 is one of several measures that will go before voters in the 2018 general election. Proposed amendments need to earn at least 60 percent approval from voters to be added to the state constitution.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the measure is supported by 54 percent of voters with 28 percent saying they plan to vote “no.” The remaining 18 percent were undecided.

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