fundraising – Page 7 – Florida Politics
Keith Perry

Keith Perry outraised threefold in April

Gainesville Republican Sen. Keith Perry’s April fundraising reports lagged behind those of Democratic challenger Kayser Enneking, who reported her best-ever totals earlier this week.

The first term Senator brought in $27,700 in campaign funds last month and tacked on another $2,000 through his political committee, Building a Prosperous Florida.

Perry, a roofer by trade, brought in the much of the April haul from those in the same line of work. Of the 44 contributions he received last month, 13 came from roofing companies and trade associations. Those contributions totaled nearly $10,000. Also showing up in the reports were Disney, Data Targeting head Pat Bainter and a political committee tied to exiting Senate President Joe Negron. Each chipped in $1,000.

The April expenditure tally measured in at about $15,400, including about $4,800 in non-itemized expense reimbursements payed to Perry and campaign staffers, $3,700 in staffer pay and $2,300 for campaign t-shirts.

Perry started May with about $393,000 in the bank – $286,585 for his campaign and $106,316 for his committee. His overall total is still six figures ahead of Enneking’s $271,000 war chest, though she was enthused by her campaign gaining ground.

“Our campaign is coming on strong. We out raised Keith Perry three to one last month with the support of people from all walks of life, the majority of whom live within the district. It’s clear that this district and the rest of Florida are ready for a change,” Enneking said Thursday.

“This report highlights what I’ve been saying since I got in the race, Keith Perry’s votes have been bad for this district and for Florida. I’m ready and able to give District 8 the representation that it deserves, and the people of North Central Florida are excited to make that happen.”

The Gainesville physician is Perry’s likely general election opponent, though she still must make it by Democratic Primary challenger Olysha Magruder before she’s a lock for the November ballot.

Magruder is a former school teacher who now works for Johns Hopkins University as an instructional designer. She has not yet filed her April reports, though through March she had raised about $19,000 and had $7,727 on hand.

SD 8 covers all of Alachua and Putnam counties as well as the northern half of Marion County. It is one of a handful of districts that became more favorable to Democrats after the Senate map was redrawn ahead of the 2016 elections.

The district, along with SD 16, SD 18 and SD 24, is a top target for Senate Democrats this cycle and could be key in determining who will be Senate President after the 2022 elections.

Bob Rommel holds on to money lead in HD 106 despite challenger’s self-funding

Incumbent state Rep. Bob Rommel continues to hold a fundraising lead in House District 106 over his opponent, Democrat Sara McFadden, despite her ability to self-fund.

Rommel, a Naples Republican, raised nearly $15,000 in April, bringing his total fundraising haul to more than $106,000.

McFadden pulled in nearly $12,000 in April. But $10,000 of that came from the candidate herself in the form of a loan. That brings the total amount loaned to her own campaign to $60,000. Loans make up the vast majority of the $73,000 McFadden raised so far. She has more than $68,000 still available, compared to $93,000 for Rommel.

A third candidate for HD 106, nonaffiliated Kristopher Knudson, raised only $150, all from family and friends. That makes it highly unlikely he will have much of an impact come November.

Rommel heads into the election following his first term in HD 106. He came out on top of a three-person Republican primary in 2016, winning more than half the vote. He went on to win the general election over a write-in candidate, Connor Maguire, who earned only 14 votes out of more than 71,000.

McFadden is vice chair of the Florida Democratic Party. She has also spent time as an activist, founding the eight-county Coastal Coalition.

HD 106 covers parts of Collier and Lee counties and leans Republican. The GOP has a voter registration advantage of more than 2-to-1.

Jeremy Ring boosts CFO campaign with $50K loan

Former Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring raised nearly $53,000 and pumped another $50,000 of his own money into his CFO campaign last month.

Ring’s April reports show $76,565 raised for his campaign, including the loan, and another $26,250 for his political committee, Florida Action Fund PC. Ring has now raised just over $1 million for his statewide bid.

Outside of the loan, Ring shows 80 contributions for the month including two maximum contributions. Those $3,000 checks came in from Miami attorney Philip Golf and Ft. Lauderdale attorney Hamilton Collins Foreman Jr., who originally chipped in $3,300 before the Ring campaign refunded the excess.

Disney topped the committee report with a $10,000 check, followed by a $7,500 contrib from the firm of Pensacola attorney Levin Papantonio and $5,000 from Coral Springs retiree Robert Greenberg.

The two accounts combined to spend $31,110.

At the top of the ledger were $7,200 in payments to voter database company NGP VAN. Also listed was a $5,500 check to Johnson Campaigns for consulting work as well as about $3,000 each to Renaissance Campaign Strategies and MDW Communications for consulting and advertising, respectively.

Ring started May with $282,396 in his campaign and $164,169 in his committee, for a combined total of $446,565 in the bank. That also includes the April loan and a $100,000 loan he made to the campaign in August.

Ring is the only Democrat running for CFO. His chief opponent is sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis, a Panama City Republican who in 2017 was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott to serve out the remainder of Jeff Atwater’s term after he left the job to take a position at Florida Atlantic University.

Patronis faces only nominal opposition in the Republican Primary, and with the announcement that Thonotosassa Sen. Tom Lee will not run for the job it’s likely to stay that way.

Earlier this week, Patronis picked up an endorsement from the Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Police Benevolent Association recently announced Ring, a former Yahoo! executive, as their pick for the fall.

Though Patronis has not filed his April reports, he still holds the edge in fundraising based on his March totals. At last tally, Patronis more than $2.5 million in the bank between his campaign account and political committee, Treasure Florida.

HD 118 challenger Anthony Rodriguez surpasses $100K raised

Incumbent Robert Asencio could face serious competition in November, as Republican rival Anthony Rodriguez surpassed $100,000 raised for his campaign. That’s after Rodriguez hauled in more than $10,000 in April alone.

Asencio, a Democrat, will look to hold on to his HD 118 seat despite being heavily outraised by Rodriguez. Asencio’s campaign has pulled in nearly $40,000, with nearly $30,000 of that still on hand. Compare that to Rodriguez, who has more than $73,000 available.

Asencio’s seat was always vulnerable, as he won in 2016 by the thinnest of margins. Asencio took in 50.04 percent of the vote, just barely edging out his Republican challenger, David Rivera, who received 49.96 percent of the vote.

Rodriguez also fought for the HD 118 seat in 2016 but lost to Rivera in the primary. Thus far in 2018, he’s running unopposed after Republican Luis Rolle withdrew. Asencio is also running unopposed.

HD 118 covers sections of Miami-Dade County including parts of Kendall and Tamiami. Rodriguez currently runs a business in Tamiami.

Before serving in the House, Asencio was a member of the Miami Police Department, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He also founded Florida Public Employees Partnership, a nonpartisan advocacy group for Florida public employees.

Anna Eskamani

Anna Eskamani hits $250K raised for HD 47 bid

Orlando Democrat Anna Eskamani raised another $22,300 in April for her campaign to replace exiting Republican Rep. Mike Miller in House District 47.

Eskamani brought in $18,800 of that money through her campaign account and raised the other $3,500 through her committee, People Power for Florida, putting her just past the $250,000 mark in total fundraising.

Her campaign report showed more than 170 contributions, continuing her trend of adding dozens of small-dollar donations month-to-month. She also brought in four checks for $1,000, the maximum contribution for state legislative races.

April’s max donors were former Florida League of Women Voters head Pamela Goodman, the Harriett Lake Family Trust, Ironworkers Local Union #808 and Orlando speech pathologist Laura Smith. Equality Florida deputy director Michael Farmer came in just under the cap with a $950 contribution.

The campaign also showed about $8,500 in spending in the new report, including $2,861 to Orlando-based Print Meisters and $2,500 to pay for campaign staff.

The committee cash came in through two contributions, a $2,500 check from Tampa attorney Crystal Whitescarver and $1,000 from Maria Ruiz-Hayes. People Power for Florida’s lone April expenditure was a $1,500 payment to Tallahassee law firm Hollimon PA.

Eskamani went into May with nearly $187,000 banked – $162,290 in hard money and another $24,650 in her committee.

Eskamani is the only Democrat running for HD 47, which is being vacated by Winter Park Rep. Mike Miller, who is running in the Republican Primary for Florida 7th Congressional District.

Her closest competitor, Winter Park Republican Stockton Reeves, raised $2,275 last month. Since filing for the race in July he’s brought in $120,470, including $94,700 in candidate loans. He had $105,583 at the ready on April 30.

Reeves’ primary opponent, Mikaela Nix, had not filed her April finance report as of Thursday morning. Through March she had just short of $29,000 in the bank. That number could shoot up depending on how lucrative her recent fundraiser turned out to be.

Democrats have a slight edge in voter registrations in the Orange County swing seat. Democrat Linda Stewart, now a state Senator, held the seat before Miller knocked her out with a 4-point win in the 2014 cycle. He was re-elected by 5 points in 2016 when he faced Democrat Beth Tuura.

Rebekah Bydlak

Rebekah Bydlak builds lead over Mike Hill in HD 1

Gonzalez Republican Rebekah Bydlak added nearly $6,000 in campaign funds last month in the race to replace termed-out Rep. Clay Ingram in House District 1.

Bydlak’s April report showed $5,291 in new money across 22 contributions. More than half of those came in from small-dollar donors giving $200 or less, though she also picked up three checks for $1,000 each.

At the top of the donor list were AppRiver VP Chris Cain, Gulf Breeze attorney Justine Simoni and William S. Jones-chaired political committee Accountability in Government.

Spending measured in at $1,666, including a $1,000 payment to Gainesville-based Data Targeting Research for consulting services, $350 for accounting work and the rest for various campaign expenses such as credit card processing fees.

The new money brings Bydlak’s total fundraising to $118,500 since filing for the race in August. She had $95,690 on hand at the end of the month.

That number is likely to see a substantial jump in her next report, as this week Ingram hosted a fundraiser benefitting her campaign that brought in numerous Republican lawmakers from around the state, including former House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, former Senate President Don Gaetz, Bradenton Rep. Jim Boyd, Sanford Rep. Jason Brodeur, Eucheeanna Rep. Brad Drake, Hialeah Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., Vero Beach Rep. Erin Grall, Tampa Rep. James Grant and Panama City Rep. Jay Trumbull.

Bydlak faces former Pensacola Rep. Mike Hill in the primary, and so far her fundraising efforts have yielded three times the campaign cash of the former lawmaker. Hill’s April report is not yet available, but through March he had raised $34,585 and had about $23,900 on hand.

HD 1 is a safe Republican seat and Ingram’s replacement will the winner of the Aug. 28 primary, though the Republican nominee will not go unopposed on Election Day.

Democrat Vikki Garrett is also running for the seat. She tacked on $895 last month and got a $360 payment for marketing refunded to her account, leaving her with negative spending in April. Heading into May, she had $7,337 in the bank.

HD 1 covers the bulk of Escambia County, including the communities of Century, Molino, Gonzalez, Ensley, Ferry Pass, Belleview and Brent. Ingram has held the seat since it was redrawn in 2012. Prior to that, he held the old HD 2.

Jeff Brandes clears $550K on hand, Carrie Pilon has $100K

Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes and Democratic challenger Carrie Pilon both raised more than $100,000 last month in the race for Senate District 24.

“I’m humbled by the support our campaign continues to receive each and every day,” said Brandes. “Our message resonates with voters and is backed by results. We have the momentum and are putting together a strong campaign to win in November.”

Brandes brought in $66,395 to his campaign account and $35,000 for his political committee, Liberty Florida, for a total haul of $101,395 in April, however Pilon edged him out with a combined $104,433 raised between her campaign account and committee, Moving Pinellas Forward.

The six-figure sum is Pilon’s first report since she announced she would challenge Brandes for the Pinellas County seat. Brandes haul follows a big March, when he bolstered his campaign account with $300,000 of his own after he learned he would be facing a challenger in the fall.

Brandes’ campaign report showed 136 contributions, including 42 for the $1,000, the maximum allowable contribution for state legislative races.

Max donors included political committees tied to Senate President Joe Negron, Naples Republican Sen. Kathleen Passidomo and St. Petersburg Republican Rep. Chris Sprowls, who is set to become House Speaker after the 2020 elections.

Expenditures weighed in at $25,807, including $7,500 in payments to Election Management Solutions for political consulting and $4,600 to Arizona-based Campaign Graphics for t-shirts.

Heading into May, Brandes had about $458,000 in hard money at his disposal.

The committee cash came in through just four contributions, including a $25,000 check from private prison company GEO Group. Also on the report was ride-sharing company Lyft, which gave $5,000.

Liberty Florida’s lone expenditure was a $500 payment to Robert Watkins & Company for accounting services, leaving it with $110,000 banked heading into May.

Brandes now has $568,000 on hand between the two accounts.

Pilon’s inaugural campaign report showed 149 contributions, including 37 for $1,000.

The majority of those max donors were fellow attorneys or law firms. Notables included Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer, who donated via his committee, Floridians for Ethics, Accountability and Responsibility. Pilon’s husband Chad Pilon, the son of former Sarasota Republican Rep. Ray Pilon, also chipped in with a max check last month.

More than half of the contributions Pilon received came in from small-dollar donors giving $200 or less. She has $51,740 in hard dollars after paying out about $2,700 between printing jobs and bank fees.

Pilon also received nearly $14,000 worth of “in-kind” contributions from the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, chaired by incoming Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson. About $6,000 of that money paid for campaign staff and their healthcare while the rest was spent on polling.

Pilon’s committee cash came in through a single check from Florida For All, Inc., a political committee chaired by Joe Falk. Moving Pinellas Forward showed no expenditures and entered May with $50,000 on hand.

After one month, Pilon has $101,740 at the ready.

Brandes has been in the Senate since 2012 when he was elected to the pre-redistricting SD 22. He had been a member of the Florida House for the two years prior.

He didn’t face a Democratic opponent in the 2012 or 2016 cycles, and in 2014 he cruised to victory with a 16-point win over his Democratic challenger in the old SD 22.

If Pilon remains competitive in fundraising going foward, the seat isn’t completely out of reach for Democrats, who see 2018 as the year they can break the Republican Party’s 20-year hold on state government.

The GOP has a 4-point advantage in voter registrations within SD 24 even though the seat voted for Barack Obama by about a point in 2012 and 2.5 points in 2008, though it went plus-7 for Donald Trump in 2016.

Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham

Gwen Graham clears $1M in April, has $4.7M on hand

Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham’s gubernatorial campaign announced Wednesday that its April fundraising efforts yielded more than $1 million — her best total since filing for the race one year ago.

“This campaign is fueled by Floridians and grassroots supporters who are passionate about sharing Gwen’s positive message and dreams for Florida. Democrats are tired of dirty campaigns and outside secret-money groups interfering in elections,” campaign manager Julia Woodward said.

“Gwen is a progressive, a mother and a public servant with a proven track record of standing up for our values and getting things done. As a candidate, she will unite Democrats across our state. As governor, she will bring Floridians together and move Florida forward.”

Graham’s fundraising reports are not yet viewable through the Florida Division of Elections website, though her campaign said it ended the month with more than $4.7 million in the bank between her campaign and committee, Gwen Graham for Florida.

That’s a $700,000 increase from her on hand total at the end of March, when the North Florida Democrat brought in $660,000. The new numbers put her total fundraising close to the $7.5 million mark.

According to the announcement, Graham brought in more than $330,000 for her campaign and more than $670,000 for her committee.

The unofficial tally on the committee website shows several high-dollar contributions in April. Gainesville retiree Gladys Cofrin, Coral Gables attorney Hugh Culverhouse, Lynn Haven contractor James Finch, and EMILY’s List PAC each chipped in $100,000 last month, while Jacksonville attorney Wayne Hogan gave $50,000.

The committee site also shows more than $145,000 spending, including a $120,000 check to the Florida Democratic Party and a $17,400 payment to the Indian Riverkeeper. That donation was due to a campaign pledge Graham made not to accept donations from the sugar industry.

The April finance reports keep Graham solidly in the No. 2 spot in the four-way Democratic Primary to replace termed-out Gov. Rick Scott.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine leads the primary field with about $13.5 million raised, including $2 million last month. Levine’s total is buoyed by at least $2.8 million in candidate loans.

Coming in behind Graham is Orlando-area businessman Chris King with $4.6 million raised to date. He added $515,000 in April, including $405,000 of his own money. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is bringing up the rear with around $3 million in total fundraising after bringing in $447,000 between his campaign and committee accounts last month.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, a Republican, still leads the overall field by a mile. His $2 million effort in April brought his total to the precipice of the $29 million mark. His Republican Primary challenger, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, hasn’t announced April fundraising numbers but he had raised $7 million and had $6.5 million at the ready at the end of March.

Primary Election Day is Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6.

Denise Grimsley

The surge: Six-figure take buoys Denise Grimsley’s Ag. Commissioner bid

Sebring Republican Sen. Denise Grimsley topped the Agriculture Commissioner field last month with nearly $190,000 raised between her campaign and committee.

“I am proud of our strong campaign efforts and am most grateful for all the support we have received while working to earn our Party’s nomination,” Grimsley said. “We have traveled the state and met countless Floridians – we’ve visited folks on their farms and ranches and in their homes, at their businesses and at local community gatherings.

“Our positive vision and message continues to resonate with conservatives and I look forward to continuing to meet the good people of Florida and share the ways I plan to strengthen our state’s agriculture industry to ensure it thrives for generations to come.”

Grimsley’s reports weren’t immediately available on the Florida Division of Elections website, though her campaign said $110,985 of the April haul came in through her campaign account, while the remaining $78,500 was raised via her committee, Saving Florida’s Heartland.

The campaign didn’t say how much the accounts had at the ready – they combined to $870,000 banked at the end of March – but it did add another milestone to the brag board: With April in the books, Grimsley has received contributions from more than 1,700 unique donors, which Grimsley’s team says is more than any of her challengers can boast.

“These fundraising numbers prove that Floridians are hearing our message and agree with Denise’s ideas and beliefs,” said campaign manager Andrea Jahna. “We are proud of our grassroots campaign and the generous support we are receiving throughout Florida, and we look forward to traveling the state and meeting voters from the Perdido River to the Florida Keys.”

The new reports bring Grimsley to just shy of $1.9 million raised since she filed for the Cabinet post in February 2017. That’s only a hair off the fundraising total of Republican Primary rival Matt Caldwell, who has raised about $1.93 million including $164,275 in April.

Grimsley and Caldwell aren’t only neck-and-neck on the fundraising trail. Her successful April effort comes on the heels of a bulk endorsement from 10 county sheriffs, which she announced just ahead of Caldwell’s own law enforcement endorsement from the Police Benevolent Association.

Grimsley faces Caldwell, former Winter Haven Rep. Baxter Troutman and retired U.S. Army Col. Mike McCalister in the Republican Primary to replace termed-out Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Though Grimsley and Caldwell are the frontrunners when it comes to fundraising, Troutman technically leads the pack with nearly $2.8 million on hand, with that money coming in almost exclusively through self-funding. Discarding self-contributions, Caldwell leads with $1.12 million banked.

McCalister, who pulled a surprising amount of support in the 2010 governor race, filed for Ag Comish in mid-March but has so far failed to gain traction in the money race. He showed his first, and so far only, contribution in his April report – a $2 check from Lakeland resident David Padilla.

Also running are Democrats Jeffrey Duane Porter and R. David Walker. It’s been tough sledding for them as well.

Porter posted nearly $26,000 in March after laying an egg in February. He has all of that cash in the bank. Walker, meanwhile, has raised $32,775 and has $7,400 in the bank. Two thirds of his funding has come in through candidate loans.

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

Karen Skyers

Karen Skyers’ first finance report puts her atop HD 61 field

Karen Skyers showed nearly $33,000 in contributions in her inaugural campaign finance report, putting her in the driver’s seat in the crowded Democratic Primary to replace Tampa Rep. Sean Shaw, who is leaving the House to run for Attorney General.

Skyers brought in 174 contributions in April, with the vast majority coming in from small-dollar donors chipping in $100 or less. She also snagged 10 checks for $1,000, the maximum allowable donation for state legislative races.

Five of those max checks came from political committees tied to lobbyist David Ramba, the head of Ramba Consulting Group: The Committee for Justice, Transportation and Business, Citizens for Principled Leadership, Greater Florida Leadership Group, Strong Communities of Southwest Florida and Voters for Economic Growth.

Skyers also picked up a couple max checks from Republicans politicians, including committees tied to Clearwater Rep. Chris Latvala and former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, a lobbyist at Becker & Poliakoff, which also employed Skyers’ before she announced her candidacy. Democrats showed up, too. Notables included former Sen. Nan Rich, and the Pittman Law Group, headed up by Tallahassee lobbyist Sean Pittman.

Spending came in at $864 for the month, with more than three-quarters that outflow covering payment processing fees. Websites fees and Vistaprint orders made up the rest.

Skyers brought in $32,849 overall, including a $500 loan to kick off the campaign, and started May with just shy of $32,000 in the bank.

Prior to joining Becker & Poliakoff, Skyers served as the legislative aide to former Sen. Arthenia Joyner, who represented the Tampa Bay area from 2006 through 2016. She is also a distinguished alumna of the FAMU College of Law.

Skyers filed for HD 61 on April 2, joining Sharon Carter, Dianne Hart, Norman Andronicus Harris and Byron Keith Henry in the Democratic Primary.

Of her four opponents, Hart has made the most headway on the fundraising trail. Through the end of March she had raised nearly $20,000, including $15,000 in loans, and had $17,315 in the bank.

Prior to Skyers’ entry, Hart was the presumed frontrunner. She took Shaw to the wire in the 2016 Democratic Primary, losing out by just 101 votes, and her 2018 announcement came alongside endorsements from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, St. Petersburg Sen. Darryl Rouson and former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis.

HD 61 covers downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and Seminole Heights. Democrats hold an overwhelming advantage at the polls.

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