fundraising – Page 6 – Florida Politics
Manny Diaz Jr.

Manny Diaz campaign crosses $500K mark in contributions

Manny Diaz‘s campaign had an impressive fundraising month in April, with now more than $500,000 raised between his campaign and political committee.

Diaz, a Republican candidate for the Senate District 36 seat, brought in more than $35,000 to his campaign in April. That puts his total raised to just over $325,000, with more than $200,000 still on hand.

Combine that with more than $200,000 brought in by his committee, “Better Florida Education,” and Diaz is sitting on a serious amount of money to help him move from Florida’s House to the Senate.

“These numbers represent real momentum for our vision for Florida,” said Diaz. “I’m grateful and encouraged by the strong support we’re seeing from so many friends and concerned citizens who are investing in our campaign. We’re going to keep working hard to grow our team, and I look forward to continuing to work hard to strengthen and expand educational opportunities in Florida.”

Those totals will only increase this month, as Diaz is set to hold a fundraising this evening at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Diaz’s only declared opponent, Democrat Muhammad Amin, has not yet filed any fundraising information with the Florida Division of Elections.

The impressive fundraising numbers for Diaz come just as several South Florida mayors have decided to endorse the Diaz Campaign.

Diaz has served in the Florida House since 2012, representing House District 103. He’s moving to SD 36, which covers parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, to replace term-limited state Sen. Rene Garcia.

Sean Shaw

Sean Shaw clears $300K on hand for Attorney General bid

Tampa Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw followed up his $211,000 March fundraising effort with another six-figure haul in April, bringing his total fundraising for the Cabinet race past the $400,000 mark.

Shaw’s April reports show $131,551 raised between his campaign and political committee, Sean Shaw for Florida. Combined with the $71,275 he raised when he was running for re-election to the Florida House, his 2018 cycle fundraising total is now $414,348.

Most of the April haul came in through Shaw’s campaign account, which took in 145 contributions last month. The majority of those donors checked in at or below the $250 mark, but the campaign did snag 13 checks for $3,000, the maximum contribution for statewide campaigns.

The committee brought in a half-dozen checks – TECO Energy and law firms Swope Rodante and Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath were in a three-way tie for the top spot on the donor list, each chipping in $10,000 for the month.

The two accounts spent a combined $60,350 for the month, including $45,000 contributions from the committee account to the Florida Democratic Party. Barring that, the top outlay was a $4,150 check to MDW Communications for work on the campaign website.

Heading into May, Shaw had more than $275,000 on hand in his campaign account and nearly $40,000 in his committee account for a combined total of $316,205 at the ready.

The first-term lawmaker is running against Ryan Torrens in the Democratic Primary, though after a year in the race he’s only just managed to hit the six-figure mark in total fundraising. He entered May with $4,342 on hand.

Shaw’s total is still far short of the three Republicans running to take over for exiting AG Pam Bondi.

Pensacola Rep. Frank White currently leads the money race overall with more than $2 million on hand, though most of his money came in through candidate contributions. Former circuit court judge Ashley Moody leads in actual fundraising and has $1.75 million on hand, while Jacksonville Rep. Jay Fant has $839,000 banked, including $750,000 in loans.

The primary race is Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6.

Kathleen Peters

Kathleen Peters crosses $100K raised for Pinellas Commission bid

Treasure Island Republican Rep. Kathleen Peters’ fundraising lead in the race for Pinellas County Commission District 6 keeps growing.

New fundraising reports show the third-term lawmaker tacked on $25,435 in contributions last month – her best total in nearly a year. She has now raised $112,000 since filing for the seat in May 2017 and has nearly $76,000 of that cash at the ready.

Peters announced near the end of April that she had gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot by petition.

She faces Republicans Larry Ahern, also a state Representative, and Barb Haselden in the race. Haselden is still in the No. 2 spot in total fundraising, though Ahern passed her in cash on hand after posting the better report in April.

The termed-out lawmaker showed $7,200 in new contributions last month as well as $4,000 in spending. That brings his campaign’s lifetime total up to $40,040 through 13 months. He has $29,200 banked.

Haselden, an insurance agent who runs her own business, brought in $1,845 last month and spent nearly $1,000. The April numbers are her best of 2018 and follow a $0 March report. She has raised a total of $42,152 – nearly half of which was raised in her first month – and has $28,763 in the bank.

The three Republicans were recently joined by Democrat Amy Kedron, who won’t show her first fundraising numbers until June.

District 6 includes the communities of Indian Shores, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Madeira Beach, Pinellas Park, Seminole, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach. The seat is currently held by John Morroni, who is retiring after four terms on the commission.

The District 6 race will be on the November ballot alongside District 2 and District 4. Incumbent Commissioner Dave Eggers is currently unopposed in the District 4 race, while District 2 incumbent Pat Gerard is being challenged by Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell. Through April, Gerard led Caudell in the money race by about $45,000.

Harry Cohen - Tampa City Council

Harry Cohen has $188K already banked for Tampa mayoral campaign

Tampa City Councilman Harry Cohen announced Friday that he’s brought in $190,000 last month for his bid to be Tampa’s next mayor.

“I am both grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support I have received,” he said in a press release. “We have not even had our kickoff yet and we are off to a very strong start. This shows Tampa voters want a mayor who will keep the city moving forward.  We have tremendous opportunities ahead of us.”

Cohen showed $63,485 in his April campaign report and another $127,500 through his political committee, Tampa Together. The second-term councilmember also spent $3,055, with more than half heading to Democratic voter database company NGP VAN.

Cohen topped his own donor list for the month, pumping $100,000 into his committee and $100 into his campaign. Attorney Hendrik Uiterwyk, who chairs Cohen’s committee, was the No. 2 donor with a $10,000 contribution to Tampa Together. The campaign report showed 104 contributions, including 46 at the $1,000 level.

Cohen became the fourth candidate to enter the mayoral race when he filed on the last day of March. Since then, former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, philanthropist David Straz and fellow Tampa Councilman Mike Suarez have thrown their names in the hat.

Michael Hazard, Topher Morrison and former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik filed before Cohen.

Cohen’s $187,930 cash on hand total puts him behind only Castor in the crowded mayoral race. She had raised nearly $225,000 as of April 30 and had $218,537 in the bank. Turanchik’s fundraising total through last month, which he announced earlier Friday, is $188,385. He has about $156,000 on hand.

The Cohen campaign also touted his tenure as a Councilmember in the fundraising announcement, saying that since he took office in 2011 “Tampa has seen significant increases in job growth, major investments in new housing and commercial developments, complete renovations of flagship parks, neighborhood repaving projects and the start of a $250 million overhaul of the city’s stormwater system.”

The mayoral election will be held March 5, 2019, when Tampa holds its municipal elections. Also slated for the ballot are several city council seats. The new mayor and councilmembers will take office on April 1, 2019.

Kelli Stargel

Kelli Stargel revs up campaign with $36K take in April

Republican state Sen. Kelli Stargel put her foot on the gas somewhat in raising money in April for her re-election campaign in Florida Senate District 22, bringing in $36,850.

The haul is Stargel’s largest yet in the 2018 campaign cycle, marks the first significant fundraising month for her campaign since last October, and was tops among all Florida Senate candidates in Central Florida, from Lake County to Brevard County, and Volusia County to Osceola County.

Stargel’s April fundraising was highlighted by $1,750 from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign and 28 checks, mostly from political action committees and businesses, for the maximum $1,000 donation, including three from different Walt Disney World entities.

Stargel, of Lakeland, now has raised $183,583, and entered May with $133,614 in cash reserves.

SD 22 covers parts of northern Polk and southern Lake counties, including part of the Four Corners community at Walt Disney World’s backdoor.

Her chief rival, retired Circuit Court Judge Bob Doyel of Winter Haven, who had out-raised  Stargel’s campaign the past three months, as she lost fundraising time during the Florida Legislative Session, reported raising $11,069 in April. His campaign entered May with $75,650 still in the bank.

Fellow Democrat former state Rep. Ricardo Rangel of Auburndale reported raising $3,010 in April, and entering May with $3,467 in the bank.

In District 14, Republican state Sen. Dorothy Hukill brought in $27,750 in campaign contributions in April for her re-election bid.

The take brought Hukill’s total campaign fundraising to $148,400 and left her with just under $100,000 left in the bank for her re-election campaign for SD 14, covering southern Volusia and northern Brevard counties..

Democrat Melissa Martin of Cocoa  reported raising just $1,689, but also loaned $2,000 to her campaign in April. That brought her total raised to $28,106, and left her with $24,750 in cash reserves at the beginning of May. A second Democrat, Brandon Maggard of Cocoa, entered the race in April but did not file any financial reports.

In Senate District 12, Republican state Sen. Dennis Baxley of Ocala did not raise much, but still nearly doubled his Democratic opponent in April. Baxley raised $6,100, and entered May with $112,482 in the bank. Democrat Gary McKechnie of Mount Dora reported raising $3,262 in April, and came into May with $22,788 in cash.

Looking ahead to 2020 races, Republican state Sen. Travis Hutson raised $4,250 for his re-election in District 7, covering north Volusia County on up into St. Augustine; Republican state Sen. Debbie Mayfield raised $4,000 for her re-election in District 17, covering south Brevard County and the north Treasure Coast; state Rep. Jason Brodeur reported raising $1,000 in his bid for the open seat of Senate District 9 in Seminole County; and Democratic state Sen. Linda Stewart reported picking up $700 for her re-election in District 13, in central and east Orange County. Neither Democratic state Sen. Randolph Bracy of District 11, in west Orange County, nor Democratic state Sen. Victor Torres of District 15, in south Orange County and Osceola County, reported raising any money last month for their 2020 re-election bids.

ashley moody

Ashley Moody closing money gap with Frank White

Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody is tightening the margin between her and Pensacola Rep. Frank White after bringing in more than $325,000 in April contributions.

Moody’s reports showed $151,660 raised for her campaign account and another $174,500 for her political committee, Friends of Ashley Moody. That’s more than double the $161,747 White raised over the same stretch, $50,000 of which came from a business tied to his in-laws.

The Moody campaign celebrated the fundraising win and some of her recent endorsements in a Friday news release.

“Judge Ashley Moody continues to outraise and outperform her Republican primary opponents with each and every campaign finance reporting period,” said campaign manager Nick Catroppo. “She is the only candidate in the Attorney General’s race who has prosecuted a case, has the support of more than 80 percent of Florida GOP sheriff’s, and the endorsement of the Florida PBA. This early and strong support of those in the law enforcement community, along with record-breaking financial contributions makes Ashley Moody Florida’s only choice as its next Attorney General.”

Moody’s biggest check of the month came from Largo construction company exec Joseph C. White, who gave $50,000. Other donors of note: James W. “Bill” Heavener, a businessman and member of the UF board of trustees, and Treasure Coast Alliance, a political committee tied to exiting Senate President Joe Negron, who endorsed Moody earlier this month. Each gave $25,000.

Moody, a former circuit court judge, has now raised $2.19 million since she filed for the race last June. That keeps her behind White, but the gulf between them has shrunk considerably.

At the end of March, White led with $2 million on hand compared to a little over $1.5 million for Moody. April saw her take a $140,000 bite out of that lead — White now has $2.09 million banked and Moody has $1.75 million at the ready.

Their total fundraising numbers are even closer. White has raised $2.4 million to date, including a $1.5 million self-contribution, while Moody has raised $2.19 million without the benefit of loans or self-funding.

Both are doing better than the third Republican in the race, Jacksonville Rep. Jay Fant, who took over as the bottom-shelf fundraiser when Dover Rep. Ross Spano threw in the towel to run for congress in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. The money race has been tough sledding for him since pretty much his first day.

He raised about $88,000 in his first month in the race last year, when he was running solo, and that stood as his best-ever fundraising month until March, when he scored his first six-figure month thanks to a check from Jacksonville investor Scott MacKenzie. He failed to follow up on that in April.

The new reports show $18,065 raised between the campaign and his committee, Pledge This Day. Ironically, for someone so concerned about trial lawyers donating to his opponents, a third of the cash raised in his campaign’s meager report came from Fort Lauderdale attorney David Di Pietro.

He has $839,000 banked, including $750,000 in loans.

The primary race is Aug. 28. The winner will likely face Tampa Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw in the Nov. 6 general election.

Jerry Demings banks $189K in April for Orange County mayor’s race

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings kept the turbochargers firing on his Orange County mayoral campaign fundraising drive in April, bringing in more than $189,000 during the month in his campaign and political committee combined.

The April hauls pushed Demings’ mayoral campaign close to the $1 million mark in money raised and put big distance between him and his rivals entrepreneur Rob Panepinto and Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke. Going into May, Panepinto had raised just over $400,000, and Clarke just under $300,000.

Demings’ official campaign raised $126,262 in April and his independent political committee Orange County Citizens For Smart Growth brought in $62,749. That boosted his official campaign’s total raised to $568,355, and the fund ended April with $507,852 in the bank. Orange County Citizens for Smart Growth now has raised $403,349, and it finished April with $401,460 in the bank.

It’s the second consecutive dominant month for Demings’ fundraising activities, after he raised a combined $237,000 in March. That total was mostly boosted by a big haul of big checks by Orange County Citizens for Smart Growth, which accounted for $145,000 of that month’s combined revenue through just nine donations. This time the small checks going into his official campaign fund led the way.

Already Demings’ official campaign alone has raised more money than incumbent Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs did in her entire 2010 election campaign, and is approaching the $650,000 Jacobs raised in her re-election bid in 2014.

There still are four months before the August 28 non-partisan runoff election, and six months until the general election, should no one get a majority of votes in August.

Demings latest hauls include $15,000 and $10,000 checks from healthcare providers and a $10,000 check from a Dallas-based real estate developer into his political committee. His official campaign drew 363 donations in April, including 70 for the maximum $1,000 donation. Those included three from Realtors’ political action committees, two from Amscot Financial companies, and one from Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando.

Margaret Good jumps out to big lead in re-election campaign

Sarasota Democratic Rep. Margaret Good hasn’t let up in fundraising since she turned HD 72 blue with a February special election win over Republican James Buchanan.

Good added $62,605 to her campaign account last month, bringing her total campaign fundraising for the 2018 cycle to $82,700. She has $78,500 in the bank.

“I continue to be humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of support for the campaign. Our campaign is fueled by grassroots support. In our April reporting period, 387 individual donors contributed to our re-election effort; they want to continue the work we began after winning the special election in February,” Good said.

“The foundation of our campaign is grassroots; it’s community members who want our government to reflect our values. Sarasotans want a robust economy, a strong public school system that prepares children for a highly competitive future, and protection for our precious land and Gulf. Sarasotans know they can count on me to fight for them.”

Some notable figures for April: Good received 245 from donations from small-dollar donors giving $100 or less; she took in 31 checks for the campaign max of $1,000; and more than 90 percent of the money raised came from within the Sunshine State.

The April report shows her far ahead of her lone challenger, former Republican Rep. Ray Pilon.

Pilon held the Sarasota County seat for three terms before he abandoned it to mount an unsuccessful state Senate bid in 2016. He filed for a return trip to Tallahassee via HD 72 back in March and through two campaign reports – the same number as Good – he’s raised $18,600.

Pilon’s April report showed $11,000 raised, an improvement over his first report, and at nearly 50 names his donor roll wouldn’t be considered short compared to most candidates not named Margaret Good.

He started May with $14,770 in the bank, including a $1,000 loan to kick start his campaign.

Henry Parrish

Henry Parrish gaining ground on Tyler Sirois in HD 51 primary

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish’s April fundraising report shows him surging past Republican rival Tyler Sirois in the race to succeed termed-out House District 51 Rep. Tom Goodson.

Parrish showed $24,380 raised in his new report, including 11 checks for $1,000. The April haul pushed his campaign account well past the $50,000 mark in total fundraising, and thanks to his low burn rate he has $52,332 banked.

That makes for three five-figure months in a row and an on-hand total that puts him atop the Republican Primary field.

Sirois, the executive director of the State Attorney’s office in the 18th circuit, had been the cash on hand since the start of his campaign in April 2017. He reported $25,000 raised in his inaugural report, and while he’s hit five figures in a couple months since, his reports have been largely ho-hum.

He still holds the overall fundraising crown with $74,165 raised, but he ceded a lot of ground after posting just $3,175 raised in April. All but $60 of that cash went out the door as it was raised, with the bulk than half of paying for “refreshments” at restaurants in Rockledge and Merritt Island.

He started May with $45,515 in the bank.

Also running for the Brevard-based seat are Republican Thomas O’Neill, Democrat Michael Blake and unaffiliated candidate Shain Honkone, all of whom have been rather lifeless when it comes to fundraising – O’Neill tacked on $435 in April and has $5,400 banked, most of it loans; Blake added $800 and has $2,960, also mainly due to loans; and Blake filed a waiver in lieu of a finance report.

HD 51 covers part of northern Brevard, including Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Rockledge and Sharpes. It’s a safe Republican seat that Goodson has had little trouble holding onto – he won his final term with a 60-40 drubbing of Democrat Mike Blake.

Janet Cruz and Dana Young, SD 18

Janet Cruz raises a lot of money in first weeks of campaign for Senate but Dana Young raises more

House Minority Leader Janet Cruz nearly matched Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young in April fundraising despite joining the Senate District 18 race 10 days into the month.

Cruz, a Tampa Democrat, said her April campaign and committee reports will show $146,600 in contributions for the 21 days she was a candidate last month, putting her just a few thousand dollars shy of Young’s $152,500 effort for the whole of April.

“We’re earning the support we need to win and get things done in the Florida Senate, including making healthcare more affordable, fully funding our public schools and teachers, and combating gun violence,” said Cruz. “We are strong out of the gate and just getting warmed up because the hard working people of Tampa deserve to have a voice in Tallahassee — and that hasn’t been the case recently.”

About $31,600 of the new money came in through Cruz’ campaign account. Its report is not yet viewable on the Florida Division of Elections website. The rest came in through her political committee, Building the Bay PC, which shows $117,700 in contributions.

The bulk of that cash came in through two $50,000 checks, one from political committee Florida For All, Inc. and another from Miami attorney Robert Rubenstein. Spending was minimal, with Democratic data firm NGP VAN receiving $2,700 of the $3,300 spent.

The committee finished the month with about $176,500 on hand including the $62,000 Cruz banked prior to launching her Senate campaign. Her campaign account also started with money in the bank due to her now-cancelled bid for Hillsborough County Commission. Cruz said those funds make for $271,000 in total fundraising, though she didn’t announce an overall cash-on-hand total.

While Cruz ceded little ground in her first month, she is far from matching Young’s overall totals of $1.45 million raised and $1.1 million on hand.

Young’s reports showed a near even split, with $79,544 raised for her campaign account and $73,000 raised for her political committee, Friends of Dana Young.

The campaign cash was spread across 131 contributions and included 60 checks for $1,000, the maximum contribution for state legislative campaigns. The committee donor roll was similar in compactness to her opponent’s, with a $35,000 check from beverage distributor Kent Bailey taking the top spot among seven contributions.

Campaign and committee spending totaled $16,422, including $5,500 on ad spending and a $5,000 check to Bascom Communications for consulting work and $3,600. Heading into May, Young had $802,000 in her committee account and $298,000 in her campaign account.

If Cruz keeps the funds rolling in SD 18 could turn into a major pickup for Florida Democrats, who see 2018 as an opportunity to break Republican’s grip on the state legislature. The Hillsborough-based district has 7,500 more registered Democratic voters than Republican, and it voted plus-5 for Hillary Clinton in 2018.

Young was elected to the Senate in 2016 after taking 48 percent of the vote compared to 41 percent for 2016 Democratic nominee and one-time 2018 candidate Bob Buesing. Nearly 10 percent of the remaining ballots were cast for businessman Joe Redner while no-party candidate Sheldon Upthegrove received 1 percent support.

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