SD 8 candidates Rod Smith, Keith Perry spend big in first half of September

Keith Perry Rod Smith

The Senate District 8 race between Alachua Democrat Rod Smith and Republican Keith Perry is a competitive race with splashy fundraising totals and spending both.

For evidence of that robust trend of contributions and expenditures, look no further than the candidates’ finance reports covering the period between Sept. 3 – 16.

Spending is especially big for both Smith and Perry.


Smith’s two-week spend of $113,508 is notable.

Over $102,000 of that went for a TV shoot and for an ad buy seen throughout Northeast Florida, including broadcast stations in Ocala, Jacksonville, High Springs, and Gainesville.

Smith, despite that big spend, has $195,000 on hand, and has benefited from $191,746 extra of in-kind contributions.

Smith also raised $20,925 in hard money during the period.

Among the max contributors: Mears Destination ServicesCity Cab Company of Orlando, and the Florida Police Benevolent Association.


Perry is slightly behind Smith’s $195,000 on hand; as of Sept. 16, the Republican had just under $155,000 on hand.

Perry brought in $27,760 in hard money during the two week period, with the bulk of that being max contributions from the citrus industry, the insurance sector, developers, and political committees, such as “Working for Florida’s Families” (associated with Sen. Rob Bradley) and the “Florida Leadership Committee” (associated with Sen. Jack Latvala).

As well, $17,621 more of in kind contributions from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee came through, for research and polling.

The FRSCC has been active on behalf of Perry.

In terms of expenditures in the two-week period, Perry spent $77,639.

Though Perry did spend on television, the amount was a fraction of what Smith spent, with a more modest geotargeting in the ad buy, with roughly $25,000 spent on television.

Perry also spent $4,254 on promotional sunglasses, $7,500 on magazine ads with Advantage Publications, and  $3,089 on mail with Data Targeting

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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