Republican James Buchanan, the son of Congressman Vern Buchanan, showed nearly $30,000 in contributions in his first campaign finance report since entering the special election for HD 72.
Buchanan was the first-in for the special election brought about by the unexpected retirement of Republican Alex Miller, who quit less than halfway through her first term citing the need to spend more time with her sons.
The new report, covering Sept. 5 through Oct. 6, shows $29,295 in new money, and $15,259 in spending.
Donors at the $1,000 level include insurance company GEICO, which chipped in with checks from a pair of subsidiaries, and the Florida Beer Wholesalers Good Government Committee.
In all, the Sarasota County Republican picked up 69 contributions including 16 for the election maximum of $1,000.
Spending mainly went toward printing and consulting fees, with Gulf Coast Imprinting getting $5,800 for signage, and Jeffrey Carman cashing about $4,500 worth of checks for consulting fees.
While Buchanan was the first to file his full campaign finance report, he won’t be taking the top slot this go around. Earlier Monday, Democrat Margaret Good announced she would show more than $100,000 in contributions in her first-month reports – $87,370 through her campaign and an extra $15,000 through her political committee.
Buchanan is still in first place, however, due to the six-month head-start he had while running in neighboring HD 71, held by termed out Bradenton Republican Rep. Jim Boyd.
During that stretch, Buchanan piled up more than $165,000 in contributions and brought about $142,000 cash on hand when he made the switch less than an hour after Miller’s announcement she would step down. The new report leaves him with $155,794 on hand.
Buchanan also has the advantage of not facing a primary challenger. Good is up against Ruta Jouniari for the Democratic nomination, and will need to get by her in the Dec. 5 primary election.
Jouniari has not yet announced her first-month numbers, nor has Libertarian candidate Alison Foxall, who filed shortly after Buchanan.
The general election for the race is set for February 13, 2018.