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Republican lawmakers raked in contributions ahead of the 2017 Legislative Session

New campaign finance reports filed with the Florida Division of Elections show Republican lawmakers stockpiled a lot of cash the week before the 2017 Legislative Session kicked off.

House Republicans Ben Albritton and Manny Diaz each had productive months for their campaigns to transition from the House to the Senate next year.

Albritton, who is running for SD 26, brought in more $102,400 between his campaign and committee, Advancing Florida Agriculture.

The bulk of that money, $64,400 went to the committee, which brought in $15,000 from U.S. Sugar and $6,500 from the Florida Committee for Conservative Leadership. An additional five donors, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce, chipped in at the $5,000 level.

On the campaign side, Albritton added an even $38,000 from 43 contributions, including 33 for the maximum donation of $1,000.

Albritton has a combined $199,000 on hand between the two accounts.

Diaz, who is running in SD 36, added $27,750 through his campaign account and another $31,500 through his committee, Better Florida Education.

The committee contributions included $10,000 a piece from OD-EyePAC and the Florida Jobs PAC, and at the end of the month the account had about $57,000 on hand.

The campaign cash came in across 30 contributions, including $1,000 checks from Publix, Charter Communications and six checks from subsidiaries of Jacksonville-based Vestcor.

He ended the month with about $105,000 in his campaign account.

Also posting a solid month was SD 14 Sen. Dorothy Hukill, who has been unable to make it to Tallahassee for session due to ongoing treatment for cervical cancer.

The Port Orange Republican added $25,500 to her campaign account in March, besting her February total of $21,500.

Donors last month included Anheuser Busch, lobbyist Ron Book, Friends of Dana Young and Innovate Florida, the committee run by future Senate President Bill Galvano.

The March showing left Hukill with $47,000 on hand for her 2018 re-election bid for the seat covering parts of Brevard and Volusia counties.

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.

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