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Doubled up: Toby Overdorf still leads Matt Theobald in fundraising

Toby Overdorf, a Treasure Coast Republican, remains ahead in the fundraising contest against his Democratic opponent in House District 83, Matt Theobald.

According to the latest reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections, Overdorf pulled in $12,500 Sept. 1-14. He listed only $770 in expenditures during that period.

Much of Overdorf’s fundraising came from outside conservative groups such as “First Coast Conservatives,” “Floridians for Economic Freedom,” and “Florida Patriot Fund.”

Those groups, and other similar organizations, pitched in eight separate donations of $1,000. The Republican Party of Florida added $3,000. Most of the remainder was made up of housing and construction organizations.

Theobald hauled in just $3,300 during the same period, spending $2,630 of that. Theobald’s earnings during this period all appear to come from individual donors, ranging from $25 to one donation of $1,000.

Overall, Overdorf has brought in nearly 10 times as much as Theobald in outside donations, leading him $154,493 to $15,625.

But Overdorf has also racked up far more in expenditures thanks to a primary contest against Sasha Dadan. He’s burned through $134,627 while Theobald, who was unchallenged in the Democratic side, has spent just $6,203.

That leaves Overdorf with more than double Theobald’s cash-on-hand. Overdorf retains $22,715, while Theobald has $9,422 remaining.

HD 83 covers parts of Martin and St. Lucie counties and leans Republican. The race is open as incumbent state Rep. Gayle Harrell is pursuing a run for the state Senate.

Thad Altman fundraising keeps him behind Seeta Begui in HD 52 money race

Republican state Rep. Thad Altman raised $2,000 for his re-election effort in the latest reporting period, barely better than Democratic upstart Seeta Begui, who continues to hold a $5,000 lead in the money race that has both House District 52 candidates relatively low on cash.

Altman’s latest donations come after he spent almost all of his campaign money turning back Republican challenger Matt Nye in the Aug. 28 primary, while Begui added $1,420 in the two week period ending Sept. 14, according to the latest reports on file with the Florida Division of Elections. For this full election cycle, Altman, a non-profit executive from Indialantic, has raised more than $70,000 and lent his campaign another $1,000, but that money is almost all gone.

Begui, a nurse from Melbourne, fueled her campaign initially with personal loans that now total $3,550, and otherwise picked up about 80 contributions, mostly from individuals, but all in small checks, since declaring her candidacy in May.

The result gave her about $12,079 in the bank on Sept. 14 heading toward the Nov. 6 showdown, while Altman’s account showed just $7,079 at that point.

In the latest reporting period, from the primary through Sept. 14, reported last Friday, Begui reported collecting 19 small checks, all from individuals living in the district or nearby along Florida’s central Atlantic coast. Altman picked up three $500 checks from Tallahassee political action committees and another $500 check from a Melbourne tire store.

HD 52 covers south Brevard County.

Scott Plakon adds $16K, Tracey Kagan adds $4K in HD 29 battle

Sanford Republican Rep. Scott Plakon added an even $16,000 to his campaign fund during the first half of last month, bringing his overall fundraising total past the $125,000 mark.

The Sept. 1 through Sept. 14 reporting period saw House District 29’s second-term lawmaker cash more than a dozen checks for the maximum campaign donation of $1,000, including contributions from lobbyist Ron Book and lobby firm Akerman LLP as well as hospital corporation HCA.

BusinessForce, a group connected to the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, also showed up with a $1,000 check shortly before the group publicly endorsed Plakon’s re-election bid.

Plakon also spent and even $10,000 during the two-week reporting period, with all of that cash heading to Tallahassee-based Southern Campaign Resources for consulting work.

He finished the reporting period with $129,065 in hard money raised thus far with $104,420 left to spend.

Challenging Plakon in the Seminole County seat is Democratic nominee Tracey Kagan, who last month defeated fellow Democrat Darryl Block after earning more than two-thirds of the vote in the primary.

Her new report showed $3,926 in new money, with all 16 receipts listed coming in from individual donors. Topping the list was a $1,000 check from Craig Wilding of Lake Mary. Kagan also spent a little over $2,000 during the reporting period, with $1,000 paying for financial services and $450 covering credit card processing fees via the NationBuilder platform.

Kagan’s haul brings her total fundraising to nearly $50,000, including $15,000 in candidate loans. She had about $11,000 in the bank on Sept. 14.

HD 29 covers part of western Seminole County, including Heathrow, Lake Mary, Longwood, Wekiwa Springs and part of Sanford. According to the most recent bookclosing report released by the Florida Division of Elections, there are about 7,500 more registered Republican voters than Democrats within its borders.

The seat is not a total reach for Democrats, however. In 2012, Democrat Mike Clelland pulled off a shocker by defeating former Republican Rep. Chris Dorworth by fewer than 150 votes. Dorworth was in line to be House Speaker after the 2014 elections.

Plakon put the seat back in the GOP column in 2014 with a 57-43 win over Clelland. Plakon won re-election in 2016 without an Election Day opponent, though the district went plus-4 for Donald Trump at the top of the ticket.

Chip LaMarca

Outpaced: Chip LaMarca has 6-to-1 money lead over Emma Collum

Republican Chip LaMarca outraised his Democratic opponent in House District 93, Emma Collum, by a more than 6-to-1 margin in the latest fundraising period.

That’s according to the newest totals filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

LaMarca earned $28,425 from the period of Sept. 1 to 14, while spending $8,982.

Overall, he’s brought in $364,901. LaMarca has spent $66,189 of that for a remaining cash total of $298,711.

Meanwhile, Collum spent more than she took in through monetary donations last period. She spent $5,948 but earned just $4,386. She did add $35,663 through in-kind contributions, however.

In total, Collum has raised $128,670.09 but has spent $80,985 of that, leaving her with $47,685 on-hand. That’s more than $250,000 short of LaMarca’s total.

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

She also recently received support from a PAC created by former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro.

Outgoing state Rep. George Moraitis, who now has the seat, is term-limited.

Though Broward County typically leans Democratic, HD 93 has been an exception. That could change in a wave election year, however. Moraitis, a Republican, won his 2016 race by fewer than 8 percentage points.

Kathleen Peters

Kathleen Peters far out front in Pinellas Co. Commission fundraising

State Rep. Kathleen Peters has raised nearly $34,000 for her Pinellas County Commission campaign during the first two weeks of the month, putting her far ahead of Democratic challenger Amy Kedron.

Peters emerged from the three-way Republican primary battle for the District 6 seat with 48 percent of the vote compared to 36 percent for fellow state Rep. Larry Ahern and 16 percent for St. Petersburg activist and businesswoman Barbara Haselden.

Despite the double-digit victory, the primary campaign drained much of Peters’ war chest, leaving her with about the start of her general election sprint. Her campaign funds and her affiliated political committee, Florida Speaks, have received some replenishment in the weeks since, however.

Between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14, Peters added another $8,670 in hard money and an even $25,000 in committee cash. At the close of the reporting period, she had $86,800 banked between the two accounts.

That leaves Peters with a nearly eightfold advantage over Kedron, who has raised $31,340 since she entered the race in May and reported $10,940 on hand as of Sept. 14. Kedron did not face a primary opponent.

Peters announced her campaign for County Commission District 6 in May 2017, citing an “assault on home rule” from Tallahassee. She has been a member of the state House since 2012, and was eligible for another two-year term representing Pinellas County’s House District 69.

Peters and Kedron are vying for the seat that is currently held by Jay Beyrouti, who was appointed to the position two months ago by Gov. Rick Scott following the death of longtime County Commissioner John Morroni.

District 6 is the only Pinellas County Commission seat that will be on the ballot this fall as no candidates qualified to challenge Republican Commissioner Dave Eggers in District 4 or Democratic Commissioner Pat Gerard in District 2. They were both re-elected without opposition on June 22.

The district covers Pinellas Park, Seminole and the bulk of the county’s southwestern shoreline, including Madeira Beach, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach.

Million dollar man: Matt Caldwell banks $1M for general election

Matt Caldwell, the Republican candidate for Agriculture Commissioner, has now raised more than $1 million since securing his party’s nomination last month.

Caldwell’s campaign says it has pulled in nearly $310,000 on its own.

That’s topped by contributions to his political committee, Friends of Matt Caldwell, which has earned nearly $725,000 during the general election alone.

“It is proof that Floridians are placing their trust in me,” Caldwell said of the financial support he’s received.

“This enthusiastic show of support statewide only reaffirms my conviction that Floridians want proven, principled leadership in the Department. I aim to give it to them.”

Including the primary, Caldwell has raised more than $3.5 million, according to campaign numbers. Caldwell has served in the state House since 2010.

He’s now competing with Democrat Nikki Fried for the position.

Caldwell also issued a statement regarding his vision for that role, and included a jab at Fried in the process.

“The Commissioner’s role is often misunderstood, even by people running for this very office,” Caldwell said.

“This race is not about a single issue. Floridians have more diverse needs that we must meet: Growing jobs, protecting our state’s precious resources, promoting Florida businesses, and shielding consumers from fraud.

“It is important that Florida’s next Commissioner come prepared with a profound understanding of these complex issues.”

David Smith nears $250K raised for HD 28 bid

Winter Springs Republican David Smith added another $15,845 to his campaign account during the first half of September, bringing his overall fundraising to $248,000.

Smith is up against Casselberry Democrat Lee Mangold in the race to replace term-limited Republican Rep. Jason Brodeur in the Seminole County state House seat.

Among the 33 checks Smith cashed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14 were a dozen checks for the maximum campaign donation of $1,000, including contributions from several entities tied to the House of Mouse. Showing up alongside a handful of political committees and a check from lobbyist Ron Book were contributions from Disney Photo Imaging, Magical Cruise Company and the Magic Kingdom.

Business Force PC also showed up with a $1,000 contribution. The group, a spinoff of the Orlando area Chamber of Commerce, endorsed Smith and 11 other state House candidates two weeks ago.

Spending measured in at about $9,400, with a $2,700 payment to McShane LLC for advertising topping the ledger. Another $2,000 was spent on video production with the remainder heading to several individuals for contract labor.

Smith’s overall total includes $85,000 in candidate loans. He finished the reporting period with $135,700 at the ready.

Mangold’s new report showed about $3,250 raised, with all but a handful of his rake coming in from individual donors. Other entities on his donor roll included the Seminole County Democratic Executive Committee and Booth’s Cobblestones. He also received $991 worth of “in-kind” support from New York-based political committee The People PAC for video production work.

The report brings him up to $40,358 in total fundraising, including $10,000 in candidate loans. He finished the reporting period with $18,560 on hand.

Smith and Mangold were the only two candidates who qualified to succeed term-limited Brodeur in HD 28, which covers part of northeastern Seminole County including Sanford, Winter Springs, Casselberry and Oviedo. They will go head-to-head in the Nov. 6 general election.

HD 28 has a GOP lean.

According to the most recent bookclosing report from the Florida Division of Elections, Republican voters make up nearly 40 percent of the electorate compared to a 33 percent share for Democrats, and Brodeur has not faced a Democratic opponent on Election Day in his three re-election campaigns since the seat was redrawn in 2012.

The seat is not out of reach for Democrats, however, especially if the so-called “blue wave” hits Florida. It only voted plus-4 for Donald Trump two years ago.

Big spender, but Aaron Bean also raises nearly $12K in one week

Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean, whose Senate District 4 encompasses all of Nassau and part of Duval County, is already starting to spend big money on his re-election bid.

And — because it’s all about cash flow — that means the fundraising hasn’t stopped.

From Sept. 1-14, Bean raised $11,800 between his campaign account and that of his political committee, Florida Conservative Alliance.

Among the donors: PhRMA, Florida Health Care PAC, Council for Senior Floridians, Florida Home Builders Association, and Duke Energy.

Bean raised $7,500 of that for the committee, but over $13,000 went out the door, including donations for fellow GOPers Gayle HarrellDana YoungKelli Stargel, and Keith Perry — all of whom face tough Senate campaigns.

Despite the spend, the Florida Conservative Alliance has just under $90,000 on hand, and Bean has over $95,000 in his campaign account.

Moreover, Bean has comfortable leads over his opponents. Democrat Billee Bussard has roughly $7,000 on hand after raising $3,445 in the same two week period. Libertarian Joanna Tavares does not fundraise and has roughly $40 on hand.

The district is nearly half Republican.

With just over 360,381 registered voters, 174,580 Republicans and 100,307 Democrats call SD 4 home. The remaining voters are either NPA or third party, including 1,466 registered Libertarians.

David Santiago

David Santiago maintains major cash lead in HD 27

State Rep. David Santiago, a Deltona Republican, brought in another healthy haul for his re-election effort in Volusia County’s House District 27, hanging on to his massive money advantage over Democratic challenger Carol Lawrence.

Santiago’s haul included $1,000 checks from Committee for Fair Competition in Telecommunications, Duke Energy Florida, Florida ACRE and My Community Pharmacy of Boynton Beach. The report also included $4,500 worth of “in-kind” support from the Republican Party of Florida for consulting and research expenses.

Spending measured in at a modest $3,800, most of which was marked down as a reimbursement to Santiago for campaign expenses, with $1,000 heading to Virginia-based Grassroots Political Consulting and $500 heading to Robinson, Hanks, Young and Roberts for accounting work.

As of Sept. 14, Santiago had raised more than $198,000 in hard dollars for his campaign, with more than $112,000 of that cash in the bank. That alone gives him a six-figure edge over Lawrence, though he also has an affiliated political committee, Economic Growth PAC, with an additional $135,500 on hand.

For her part, Lawrence tacked on $580 from a handful of individual donors while spending more than $14,000 of her reserves, the vast majority of which were marked down as reimbursements, though she also paid for a storage unit and a $75 “candidate fee” to the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections.

Lawrence has brought in a little over $3,500 for her campaign since entering the race in March, though she juiced her account with $38,000 in candidate loans during her primary battle against Neil Henrichsen, whom she defeated 70-30 percent last month.

As of Sept. 14, Lawrence had about $19,000 left to spend in her campaign account.

HD 27 covers southern Volusia County, including Deltona, DeBary and Orange City and has a Republican edge. In 2016, Santiago was elected for a third term in the state House with 59 percent of the vote while Donald Trump carried the district by a 54-42 percent margin.

Election Day is Nov. 6.

Anna Eskamani touts $420K raised, Stockton Reeves’ fundraising comes alive

Democratic Florida House nominee Anna Eskamani‘s campaign announced Monday that her campaign and political committee now have topped $420,000 in fundraising, an astonishing total for a first-time candidate.

Yet her declaration comes amid indications that fundraising is coming alive for the campaign of her Republican opponent in House District 47, Stockton Reeves.

Eskamani’s announcement Monday includes campaign money collected since the totals reported last Friday in the latest official state campaign finance reports: her campaign now has raised $350,000, and her independent political committee People Power for Florida has topped $70,000, her campaign reported.

That comes from more than 2,000 individual donors, and Eskamani’s campaign declared that her official fund is averaging just $120 per contributor, indicating support from a large base of small donors.

However, she now also is getting big donations: Since the Sept. 14 fundraising deadline for last Friday’s newest reports, People Power for Florida cashed a $30,000 check from a Colorado organization called the Aldara Impact Fund, and another $1,600 from a Brooklyn, N.Y., organization called Flippable Florida Victory Fund.

Reeves actually did better than Eskamani in fundraising for the first two weeks of September, according to the latest official reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

Eskamani, a non-profit executive from Orlando, and Reeves, a businessman from Winter Park, are battling for the seat opening up in HD 47 because Republican incumbent Mike Miller is running for Congress. The district covers much of north and central Orange County.

In official records posted Friday by the Florida Division of Elections, Eskamani’s official campaign account reported raising $17,774 between the Aug. 31 report and the Sept. 14 reporting date, bringing its total raised for her campaign to $336,166, and leaving it with $207,792 heading toward the general election. People Power for Florida got only a $2,500 check from a Tampa lawyer before the Sept. 14 reporting date, giving it $39,251 raised, and $19,506 in the bank for the general election campaign.

That was a total of $20,274 she raised for her two funds in the two weeks through Sept. 14, through the latest official reports.

Meanwhile, Reeves’ official campaign fund reported raising $28,450, since he dispatched Republican primary rival Mikaela Nix in the Aug. 28 primary, through Sept. 14.

That is by far the largest month Reeves’ campaign has ever had, his first reporting period of more than $11,000 in donations, not including the $94,700 he has lent to his own campaign over the past 15 months.

Reeves’ latest outside donations included $3,000 from the Republican Party of Florida, 22 $1,000 checks from various political action committees, corporations, and firms, and another $1,000 check from lobbyist, developer and Republican former state Rep. Chris Dorworth.

With spending, Reeves’ campaign had $48,613 left in the bank on Sept. 15.

Eskamani’s campaign said she has several fundraising events planned, and with about six weeks to go and shows no signs of slowing down in her fundraising efforts.

“Our campaign offers a compelling vision for the people of House District 47 and for Floridians across the state,” Eskamani stated in a news release. “We want a world where everyone wins — where business owners, managers, entrepreneurs, and workers can live in harmony and each achieve the American dream. Where public schools are valued, the environment protected, gun violence reduced, and health care accessible to all. I am thrilled to have raised more than $420,000 in our bid to serve House District 47 and am honored that our donations include gifts from Democrats, Republicans, and from those with no major party affiliation.”

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