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FDP trades $150K with Ohio party; likely to spend in SD 40 special election

The Florida Democratic Party traded funds with the Ohio Democratic Party earlier this month, but neither party has said how the transferred money would be used.

FDP sent the Ohio party $150,000 from its federal account in exchange for funds that can be used for state-level expenses. Different rules apply to state and federal contributions and parties don’t mix the funds in the same accounts.

The Florida-to-Ohio transfer went through Aug. 9 and was reported to the Federal Election Commission in the Democratic Executive Committee of Florida’s most recent finance report, which covers through the end of August.

FDP spokeswoman Johanna Cervone wouldn’t confirm the party traded federal funds for state campaign money and only commented that the deal helped FDP “effectively allocate” resources.

The party is likely using at least some of the money to bolster Annette Taddeo’s campaign in Miami-based Senate District 40, where she faces Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in the race to replace Frank Artiles.

Both parties have dumped plenty of resources into the race, and each see it as a sort of bellwether for whether voter lines are shifting since Donald Trump’s election – especially the Democratic Party.

FDP hasn’t had to report its finances to the state since July, but due to special fundraising deadlines for the truncated election cycle, Taddeo’s most recent campaign finance report provides a window into how much is being pumped into the race by FDP and other Democratic committees.

On Thursday alone, the Miami Democratic Party put $45,000 in cash into Taddeo’s campaign account, while another $47,133 in “in kind” benefits came from FDP for campaign staff. The state party has also given Taddeo’s campaign about $47,000 in cash since Aug. 23.

The Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, controlled by incoming Senate Minority Leader Jeff Clemens, has also chipped in substantially. Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 24, it sent $45,000 in cash to Taddeo, and has provided another $136,000 in kind, including staffing, polls, phone banking and research.

FDP will find out Tuesday whether all the effort and money put into the race will tip the scales toward Taddeo, who has run several unsuccessful campaigns in the past few years.

Early voting numbers show Republicans with a significant advantage in turnout in a district that already has a slight GOP edge. By Tuesday, Republicans had a 1,251-vote advantage based on party registration alone and even assuming independents break 60-40 for Taddeo, that still leaves her in the hole.

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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