Tampa Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison, who is once again facing a formidable challenger in House District 63, added $7,850 to his campaign account and $44,500 to his political committee last month.
The April report shows 10 contributions, including seven checks for $1,000, the maximum allowable contribution for state legislative races. The new report brings his campaign’s total fundraising just past the $115,000 mark, and he has $85,850 in the bank.
The max donor list includes Southern Strategy Group lobbyist James McFaddin III, the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association, businesswoman Kathleen Novak, attorney Martin Hernandez, as well as political committees tied to incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva, St. Petersburg Republican Rep. Chris Sprowls and Palm Coast Republican Rep. Paul Renner.
All three lawmakers also chipped in to Clearwater Republican Rep. Chris Latvala’s campaign account last month.
Harrison spent about $3,300 in April, with all but $300 of that heading to Anthony Pedicini’s Strategic Image Management for consulting work. The remainder paid for office supplies, credit card processing fees and a couple other minor expenses.
The committee cash also came in via 10 contributions, led by a $10,000 check from Melbourne Terrace Rehabilitation Center. Coming in at $5,000 each were law firm Swope Rodante, and political committees Florida Senior Living PC and Opis PAC. Harrison also chipped in $5,000 from his own law firm.
Committee for an Innovative Florida didn’t spend any money last month and started May with about $129,000 in the bank. Combined with his campaign account, Harrison has just shy of $215,000 on hand.
The April finance reports are the first to show contributions for Harrison since the start of the 2018 Legislative Session.
Harrison is running for re-election against Democrat Fentrice Driskell, a Harvard- and Georgetown-educated Tampa lawyer who filed for the seat in early February.
Though she has not yet filed her April campaign finance report, Driskel took some serious bites out of Harrison’s lead in her first two reports.
She raised more than $40,000 over three weeks in February and followed that up with a nearly $21,000 finance report in March. Heading into last month, she had $55,400 on hand.
HD 63 covers part of Hillsborough County, including portions of northern Tampa and the communities of Lutz, Pebble Creek, Lake Magdalene and Carrollwood. Democrats make up about 39 percent of the swing seat’s electorate, while Republicans hold a 32 percent share.
Harrison served in the House from 2010 to 2012, when former Democratic Rep. Mark Danish beat him by about 700 votes to flip the newly redrawn HD 63 despite raising less than $20,000 for his campaign compared to nearly $300,000 for Harrison.
Harrison reclaimed the seat in the 2014 cycle with a 5-point win over Danish, and in 2016 he emerged victorious in a tough re-election battle against Tampa City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione. His sub 2-point victory came as Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the seat by double digits.