Connect with us

Local

Republican fundraising shows a serious challenger in Democratic HD 9

Republican House District 9 candidate James Messer filed his first campaign finance report Thursday, and it looks like Democratic front-runner Loranne Ausley has a serious challenger in the left-leaning district.

After four weeks in the race the Tallahassee attorney amassed $52,000 cash on-hand, a good deal of it coming from fellow attorneys. The total came across 157 contributions, including 20 checks of $1,000 – the maximum contribution for Florida House campaigns.

Former Rep. Ausley hasn’t released her September report yet, though she’s seen a drop off in contributions since she opened her campaign with a $75,000 haul back in May. She’s raised about $35,000 in the three months since then, putting her campaign just beyond the $100,000 mark after expenses.

The other Democrat in the race, Arnitta Jane Grice-Walker, raised $175 in July and hasn’t posted any contributions since.

Messer’s banner month makes things interesting, but Republicans are at a heavy disadvantage in Leon County district and didn’t even field a candidate last year. The last GOP contender, Bradley Maxwell in 2012, took a 62-to-38 drubbing at the hands of Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, who terms out in 2016.

Maxwell raised about $65,000 in his 2012 campaign, and Rehwinkel Vasilinda came in with just under $100,000. Messer is on pace to pass Maxwell’s total pretty quickly, but he’ll need to do a lot better than that to overcome his longshot odds in the district.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.