With two big fundraising dates in December, Republican state Rep. David Santiago of Deltona raised $30,000 in December, leading all house candidates throughout Central Florida, according to the latest campaign finance reports posted by the state.
Santiago, of House District 27 serving western and southern Volusia County, had his third month in a row of at least $10,000 raised, and finished December with a total of $104,845 raised, and about $72,000 in the bank.
Santiago’s December haul was highlighted by 26 $1,000 checks that came in on either Dec. 7 or Dec. 28, none of which came from within his district.
That’s without a significant opponent. Democrat Tyran Basil of Deltona filed to run against Santiago last April, but as with most months, in December he reported no campaign finance activity. He finished the year with about $600 in the bank.
The one district in Central Florida that saw both an incumbent and a challenger have competitively solid fundraising months in December was in House District 42, covering southern and eastern Osceola and southern Polk counties. Republican state Rep. Mike La Rosa of St. Cloud reported raising $12,750, the second-highest December haul of any incumbent in Central Florida after Santiago. Meanwhile, Democrat Barbara Cady of Kissimmee reported raising $8,106, the highest haul of any challenger in Central Florida.
La Rosa has now raised $88,907, and finished 2017 with just over $50,000 in the bank. Cady’s December was her first serious fundraising month. She now has brought in about $10,400, and finished the year with about $6,400 in the bank.
In other Florida House races set in Central Florida:
– Republican David Smith of Winter Springs raised $4,898 and Democrat Lee Mangold of Casselberry raised $900 in the House District 28 contest. Smith finished the year with $115,000 in the bank, while Mangold entered 2018 with $11,000 in cash.
– Republican incumbent state Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood raised $6,850 and Democratic challenger Patrick Brandt of Longwood reported raising only $25 in House District 29. Plakon entered 2018 with about $44,000 in cash, while Brandt had about $1,100.
– Republican incumbent state Rep. Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs reported raising $6,800 in December and finishing the year with almost $68,000 in the bank while seeking re-election in House District 30. Democrat Clark Anderson of Winter Park has not reported any campaign finance activity yet.
– Republican incumbent state Rep. Jennifer Sullivan of Mount Dora reported raising $5,500 in December and entering 2018 with about $17,000 in the bank while seeking re-election in House District 31. Challenger Debra Kaplan of Eustis reported raising $1,365 in December and entering 2018 with about $4,000 in the bank.
– Democratic incumbent state Rep. John Cortes, who has no competition yet in House District 43, reported raising $3,745 in December and entered 2018 with about $21,000 in cash.
– Republican incumbent state Rep. Bobby Olszewski of Winter Garden reported raising $5,550 in December, giving him about $19,000 toward his re-election campaign for House District 44. He has three Democratic challengers. Matthew Matin of Winter Garden reported raising his first $1,515 in December, and has it all left heading into 2018. Dawn Antonis of Winter Garden reported no campaign finance activity and entered 2018 with $1,355. Eddy Dominguez has not yet reported any campaign finance activity.
– Democratic incumbent state Rep. Kamia Brown of Ocoee reported raising $6,000 in December and finishing the year with $10,300, with no challenge yet in her re-election bid in House District 45.
– Democratic state Rep. Rep. Bruce Antone of Ocoee has no opponent yet in his re-election bid in House District 46. He reported no financial activity in December and entered the new year with about $9,700 in the bank.
– Democrat Anna Eskamani of Orlando reported raising $11,570 in her bid to flip the likely open seat in House District 47. She finished the year with about $115,000 in cash. In his bid to keep the seat in Republican hands, Stockton Reeves of Winter Park reported raising just $250 in December, and entered 2018 with about $90,000.
– Republican incumbent state Rep. Rene Plasencia of Orlando reported raising $8,000 in December, allowing him to enter 2018 with about $62,000 in the bank for his re-election campaign in House District 50. Democratic challenger Pamela Dirschka of Titusville raised her first $683, and spent none of it.
– In the contest for the open seat in House District 51 in central Brevard County, three Republicans each reported modest months, while Democratic newcomer Michael Blake of Cocoa jumpstarted his new campaign with a $2,100 loan. Republican Tyler Sirois of Merit Island reported bringing in just $150 in December, but enters 2018 with almost $37,000 in the bank. Jeffrey Ramsey of Merritt Island reported raising just $1,000 in December, giving him about $17,600 in his campaign. Thomas O’Neill of Rockledge reported no campaign finance activity in December, and entered 2018 with about $6,300 in the bank.
– In House District 52 in eastern Brevard County, Republican state Rep. Thad Altman of Indalantic reported raising $4,000 in December, and finished the year with about $17,000 in the bank for his re-election bid. Republican challenger Matt Nye of of Melbourne report draining $1,950 in December and entered 2018 with $3,400.
– In House District 53 in southern Brevard County, Republican state Rep. Randy Fine of Palm Bay reported raising $4,650 in December, finishing the month with about $81,000 in the bank. His opponent Democrat Phil Moore has not reported any campaign finance activity yet.