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David Smith starts Florida House run with $25K loan; David Santiago, Mike La Rosa raise $21K

Republican candidate David Smith has started his run for Florida House District 28 with a personal $25,000 loan to his campaign.

Smith, of Winter Springs, is running to replace state Rep. Jason Brodeur, who is term-limited out in 2018, in a district that covers east Seminole County.

The former Marine colonel and modeling and simulation business consultant faces student Devin Guillermo Perez, who reported no campaign money through the end of February, in the latest information filed with the Florida Division of Elections and posted Friday.

Smith raised more than $200,000 in a failed primary challenge to then U.S. Rep. John Mica in 2014, in a race in which he contributed only about $3,000 to his own campaign.

Among Central Florida House races, Smith’s loan gives him one of the biggest campaign chests of those who have reported.

Both Republican incumbent state Reps. David Santiago of Deltona and Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud reported raising $21,000 during the month, all in contributions, and that represents their full campaign fund for the cycle so far.

Santiago has a primary opponent in House District 27, Deltona personal injury lawyer William McBride, who kicked off his campaign last year with a $250,000 loan, then took some of it back. He has not raised any money in several months but still has $114,000, including $37,000 he raised early last year.

La Rosa does not yet have an opponent in House District 42.

Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood has $29,000 so far for his re-election bid in House District 29. All of it was raised last year. He has no opponent yet in House District 29.

Republican state Rep. Rene Plasencia of Orlando raised $2,000 in February, giving him $27,700 for his re-election campaign in House District 50.

Republican state Rep. Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs raised $6,000 last month and $18,400 in his coffers. He has no opponent yet in House District 30.

Republican state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan of Mount Dora did not raise any money in February but has $5,000 on hand, with no opponent yet in House District 31.

In House District 44, where state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle is leaving from term limits, two candidates have filed, but neither has reported raising any money yet. The candidates there are Republican Usha Jain of Orlando, who ran for Orange County Commission last year and also is running for governor at the moment, and Democrat Paul Jason Chandler of Orlando, who just entered the race on Monday.

In House District 45, Democratic state Rep. Kamia Brown of Ocoee has not reported any campaign finance activity yet. She has no opponent yet.

In House District 46, Democratic state Rep. Bruce Antone of Orlando also has not reported any activity, and has no opponent.

In House District 47, February reports have not yet been posted for Republican state Rep. Mike Miller of Winter Park. He ended January with $4,000. He is unopposed so far.

House District 48 incumbent Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando has not yet reported raising any money, and has no opponent yet.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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