Keith Perry outraised threefold in April
Sen. Keith Perry. Image via Phil Sears.

Legislature 20 ps 042817

Gainesville Republican Sen. Keith Perry’s April fundraising reports lagged behind those of Democratic challenger Kayser Enneking, who reported her best-ever totals earlier this week.

The first term Senator brought in $27,700 in campaign funds last month and tacked on another $2,000 through his political committee, Building a Prosperous Florida.

Perry, a roofer by trade, brought in the much of the April haul from those in the same line of work. Of the 44 contributions he received last month, 13 came from roofing companies and trade associations. Those contributions totaled nearly $10,000. Also showing up in the reports were Disney, Data Targeting head Pat Bainter and a political committee tied to exiting Senate President Joe Negron. Each chipped in $1,000.

The April expenditure tally measured in at about $15,400, including about $4,800 in non-itemized expense reimbursements payed to Perry and campaign staffers, $3,700 in staffer pay and $2,300 for campaign t-shirts.

Perry started May with about $393,000 in the bank – $286,585 for his campaign and $106,316 for his committee. His overall total is still six figures ahead of Enneking’s $271,000 war chest, though she was enthused by her campaign gaining ground.

“Our campaign is coming on strong. We out raised Keith Perry three to one last month with the support of people from all walks of life, the majority of whom live within the district. It’s clear that this district and the rest of Florida are ready for a change,” Enneking said Thursday.

“This report highlights what I’ve been saying since I got in the race, Keith Perry’s votes have been bad for this district and for Florida. I’m ready and able to give District 8 the representation that it deserves, and the people of North Central Florida are excited to make that happen.”

The Gainesville physician is Perry’s likely general election opponent, though she still must make it by Democratic Primary challenger Olysha Magruder before she’s a lock for the November ballot.

Magruder is a former school teacher who now works for Johns Hopkins University as an instructional designer. She has not yet filed her April reports, though through March she had raised about $19,000 and had $7,727 on hand.

SD 8 covers all of Alachua and Putnam counties as well as the northern half of Marion County. It is one of a handful of districts that became more favorable to Democrats after the Senate map was redrawn ahead of the 2016 elections.

The district, along with SD 16, SD 18 and SD 24, is a top target for Senate Democrats this cycle and could be key in determining who will be Senate President after the 2022 elections.

Drew Wilson

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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