The race to replace Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda in the Florida House could be shaping up to be an expensive one.
State records show two candidates — Democrat Loranne Ausley and Republican Jim Messer — have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the House District 9 race.
Ausley, who served in the Florida House from 2000 until 2008, is wants to reclaim her seat; while Messer is hoping to flip the traditionally Democratic seat this election cycle.
Campaign finance records show Ausley raised $21,900 in March. That sum included $500 from The Fiorentio Group, $500 from the Sheet Metal Workers Local 435 and $1,000 from the Surface Investment Partnership.
Ausely has raised $227,093 since jumping in the race in May.
Messer, a longtime Tallahassee resident and local attorney, raised $9,125 in March. State records show Messer has raised $100,578 since getting in the race in September.
Messer has indicated he plans to qualify by petition to get on the ballot. On Tuesday, his campaign announced he had received the 1,176 signatures needed to get on the ballot. In a statement, Messer said he is “humbled by the overwhelming amount of support” he has received from the community.
Messer spent $264 in March; while state records show Ausley spent $248 in the same time period.
Democrat Arnitta Jane Grice-Walker and Joshua Alexander Johnson have also indicated they intend to run for office. In March, Grice-Walker raised $50 and spent $234. Campaign finance records show Johnson raised $289 and spent no money in March.
Rehwinkel Vasilinda can’t run for re-election because of term limits.