Julio Gonzalez raises $225K for congressional bid
TALLAHASSEE, FLA.10/25/17-Rep. Julio Gonzalez, R-Venice, speaks during the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee meeting Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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State Rep. Julio Gonzalez brought in another $225,000 last quarter for his campaign to succeed U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney in Florida’s 17th Congressional District.

“I am proud to have the support of so many Floridians,” Gonzalez said.  “We’ve built support throughout the district and earned the endorsements of conservative leaders who care about sending effective conservative leaders to Washington.”

The Venice Republican didn’t indicate whether the $225,000 raised includes any candidate loans.

During the first quarter of 2018 he lent the campaign $150,000, which accounted for the bulk of his $233,700 report. He had $229,900 on hand at the end of March.

Gonzalez faces Sarasota Sen. Greg Steube and Greg Akins in the Republican primary, neither of whom have announced their second quarter fundraising numbers.

At the end of the first quarter, Steube had raised $63,550 for his campaign during including $15,000 in loans. Akins, who filed in October, has raised $10,850 including $2,700 in loans.

Steube filed for CD 17 shortly after Rooney announced in late February that he would not run for re-election in 2018. Gonzalez followed shortly after the 2018 Legislative Session wrapped, making for two sitting state lawmakers in the race.

Also running for the seat are Democrats April Freeman and Bill Pollard, though they face long odds in the general election — CD 17 is rated “safe Republican” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the prediction newsletter from University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato. The district also voted plus-27 for Donald Trump two years ago.

CD 17 sprawls across parts of Sarasota, Lee and Polk counties as well as the whole of Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands and Okeechobee counties. Rooney has held the seat since it was redrawn ahead of the 2012 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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