HD 44 special election money race has three $50K candidates, John Newstreet leading

John Newstreet, Bobby Olszewski, Bruno Portigliati

The money race for the August 15 special election Republican primary for Florida’s House District 44 has three candidates with at least $50,000 raised, topped by John Newstreet‘s $67,000, according to the first campaign finance reports released by the Florida Division of Elections.

Newstreet, president and chief executive officer of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, reported raising $67,379 including in-kind contributions through last Thursday. He also reported spending $20,026, with most of that going to campaign consultants at Millennium Consulting and Synergy Campaign Solutions, both of Orlando.

“Our team accomplished in eight weeks what some candidates take months to do, raising nearly $70,000 and talking to nearly 6,000 voters through calls and canvassing,” Newstreet said in a statement issued by his campaign.

Winter Garden businessman Bobby Olszewski, a former Winter Garden city commissioner, reported raising $54,330, including in-kind and a $1,000 personal loan he gave his campaign. He spent $6,699, with most of that going to for yard signs, and consultants at Strategic Image Management of Tampa and Your Brand Voice of Orlando.

Orlando businessman Bruno Portigliatti reported raising $51,012 including $25,000 from himself and at least $7,000 from his family and his family businesses. He spent $12,791, with $3,742 of that going to EM Campaigns of Tallahassee.

The fourth Republican running in the primary, urgent care physician Dr. Usha Jain, reported no contributions, though she did spend $2,200 of her own money for yard signs.

There is a Democrat, Lake Buena Vista businessman Paul Chandler, running for the seat representing southwest Orange County, which was vacated this spring by the resignation of Republican incumbent state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle. However Chandler will not be a factor until the Oct. 10 general election. He reported raising $1,340 in cash and lending his campaign $1,791, and spending all of it by last Thursday.

Newstreet’s campaign reported more than 150 individual donations, including 47 $1,000 checks. Among his top contributors were the Vose Law Firm; companies in the Mears Transportation group; former state Rep. Chris Dorworth; state Rep. Jason Brodeur‘s political committee Friends of Jason Brodeur; and lobbyist Ron Book.

Olszewski’s campaign reported more than 160 individual donations including 25 $1,000 checks. Among his top contributors were Waste Management, the Shutts and Bowen law firm, Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising, former Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chair Jeff Fuqua, and Book.

Portigliatti’s campaign reported more than 100 individual donations, including 13 $1,000 checks. Among his top contributors were his father Anthony Portigliatti, the Portigliatti Law Group, the Florida Assisted Living Political Action Committee, and journalist Paulo Rosa.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].


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