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HD 114 Republican Candidate Andrew Vargas with his family

South Florida

Andrew Vargas raises another $98K for HD 114 special election campaign

Republican Andrew Vargas brought in $88,100 in contributions and tacked on a $10,000 loan in his new campaign finance report for the House District 114 special election.

The report brings Vargas’ total fundraising up to $337,423, including $60,000 in loans. He has $51,307 on hand heading into the final month before the May 1 general election, where he faces Democrat Javier Fernandez and no-party candidate Liz de las Cuevas.

The Republican Party of Florida chipped in $50,000 during the reporting period, which covered Feb. 16 through March 22, with Vargas’ loan taking the second-place spot on the donor roll.

RPOF pitched in another $18,100 in “in-kind” contributions, including $15,800 for polling.

Among the other contributions received over the past five weeks were 36 checks for the campaign maximum of $1,000. Disney and its subsidiaries accounted for $5,000, while hospital company HCA gave $3,000 through its North Florida, East Florida and West Florida divisions.

Spending totaled $63,246 in the report, including nearly $26,000 to Miami-based Marin & Sons for direct mail campaigns and other advertising. Staffing expenses made up the bulk of the rest of Vargas’ spending.

Fernandez’ campaign showed just shy of $30,000 raised in its report, including 13 checks for $1,000. The real estate industry was well-represented on the donor roll.

Brokers Arthur Porosoff, Armando Romero and Brokerton Real Estate were atop the contributor list, as was real estate investor Gus Alfonso and real estate holdings Fat Deer Key Limited and Midtown Opportunities.

Fernandez’ campaign also showed $68,410 in spending in the report, with much of that money heading to the Florida Democratic Party.

On the ledger were $43,700 in donations to FDP, with another $6,000 heading to the party for payroll. Miami-based Influence Communications received $5,000 for media relations work, followed by Coconut Grove-based Politique, which took in about $4,500 for consulting work.

Fernandez had about $54,000 on hand on March 22.

Liz de las Cuevas filed a waiver for the second reporting period in a row. She brought in $5,165 in her first report, but has no cash on hand.

The final campaign finance report before Election Day is due April 27.

HD 114 is a tossup seat that was vacated in November by Democratic Rep. Daisy Baez, who stepped down after pleading guilty to perjury charges in a criminal case over her residency in the Coral Gables-based House district.

Prior to Baez’ election in 2016, former Republican Rep. Erik Fresen held the seat.

Barring a special session, the special election will serve as nothing more than another temperature reading ahead of the 2018 midterms – once the votes are counted, the winner will have six weeks to qualify for re-election having never voted on any legislation.

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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