Lenny Curry, Rob Bradley committees and Travis Cummings pace Northeast Florida February fundraising

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No Northeast Florida incumbents face competitive races in 2018. Yet the fundraising continues anyway, as February evidenced.

Notable for performance: two Northeast Florida political committees that cleared the $100K threshold for February money.

And one Clay County legislator who had a strong month.

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One of the PACs that hit six figures: “Build Something That Lasts,” the political committee of Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry,

Curry’s committee raised $110,000 in February. That sum follows a $63,000 January, and brings the committee near $240,000 on hand.

Curry’s committee secured the $110,000 from five donors, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Peter RummellGary Chartrand, and J.B. Coxwell.

While these are usual donors, the committee also got a $25,000 donation from Mori Hosseini, the CEO of ICI Homes who is a noted power player in GOP politics.

For those monitoring Curry’s appeal outside of Northeast Florida, the Hosseini donation is a strong indication of what may be a trend.

Curry still hasn’t filed to run for re-election in 2019, and his name is still in the rumor mill to replace Jeff Atwater as CFO.

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The strongest committee performance in February in NE Florida: “Working for Florida’s Families,” the committee of Sen. Rob Bradley.

Bradley’s committee brought in $120,500 in February, bringing total cash on hand over $360,000.

The leading donor at $25,000, RAI Services, the parent company for R.J. Reynolds, American Snuff, and other fine tobacco products available at stores near you.

American Traffic Solutions gave $10,000, as did licensed medical marijuana company Costa Farms (a regular supporter of Bradley), and Floracann, the cannabis subsidiary of Jacksonville’s Loop Nurseries.

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The best month for any legislator, by far, was from Rep. Travis Cummings in Clay County’s HD 18.

Cummings brought in $34,150 of new money, pushing his total cash on hand over $47,000 – a good indication that the pressure the governor put on him over not supporting Enterprise Florida hasn’t affected Cummings’ bottom line.

PACs and physicians were the main drivers for Cummings: Anesthesiologists, Physical Therapist, Beer Distributors, Realtors, and other such groups that know to back a winner.

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Of local Senators, SD 4 Republican Aaron Bean brought in $6,200 in February, pushing the Republican near $20,000 on hand.

Among the donors to the Bean team: Service Corporation International, which runs the Dignity Memorial funeral home chain, and donated $1,000.

Also maxing out: SmartHorizons, an online education company. And petroleum giant Chevron donated $500.

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In SD 5, Audrey Gibson has yet to report February numbers; we will update this piece when she does.

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In HD 11, Cord Byrd raised $5,500 of new money in February, giving him $10,100 on hand – not bad for someone who won in November with 98 percent of the vote.

Gunster, The Fiorentino Group, Southern Gardens Citrus, and Pinch-a-Penny were among the donors.

Over in HD 12, Clay Yarborough brought in $5,000 in new February money, pushing his total raised to $7,500 for his re-election.

Gunster and Fiorentino ponied up for the former Jacksonville City Councilman, who also had a max contribution from the Florida Harbor Pilots Association.

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In HD 13, HD 14, HD 15, and HD 16, there is nothing as yet to report.

Tracie Davis and Jason Fischer have yet to do a February filing. And Kim Daniels has yet to file for re-election, though a staffer told us last week that delay is just a function of travel and other commitments, and Daniels will run for re-election in a safe Democrat district.

Likewise, Rep. Fant has yet to file to re-election

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In HD 17, Cyndi Stevenson, who was re-elected without the formality of a primary or general election challenge last year, had even a better February, with $8,150 of new money.

Among her contributors: the AIF PAC, Florida Blue, the Florida Chamber, Ronald Book, Bitner and Associates, and Southern Gardens Citrus. Stevenson had just over $20,000 on hand.

A.G. Gancarski

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


One comment

  • Ken Willey

    March 10, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    You mentioned that Sen Bradley received his regular check for $10k from Costa, but you didn’t mention that Rep Cummings also received $10k from them. As the Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee he will be a major gatekeeper on legislation related to Amendment 2. His total take from the medical cannabis industry was nearly $40k in February.

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