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SW Florida

Bryan Blackwell among early candidates fundraising for open seats

Sole candidates in numerous districts raise money for 2020.

It’s still early in the 2020 cycle, but Cape Coral Republican Bryan Blackwell kept up a stream of fundraising.

The ex-Marine reports a total $16,875 in contributions raised on top of a $20,000 loan. That includes a modest $400 in fundraising from April.

Blackwell, who entered the race in February, remains the only candidate seeking state Rep. Dane Eagle’s Florida House District 77 seat. Eagle cannot run again because of term limits.

Blackwell’s coffers may not be enough to scare away others from entering the race, but it gives the candidate a head start.

He’s not the only candidate jumping in early in a cycle where there will be a fair amount of turnover encircling Lake Okeechobee.

Sanibel City Councilman Jason Maughan, the only candidate in state House District 76, has continued steady fundraising. Despite no longer having any opposition, he’s got $62,000 raised thus far.

In Florida House District 82, Palm City Republican Jonathan Franklin Snyder filed on May 3 to succeed state Rep. MaryLynn Magar, a Tequesta Republican.

And in House District 55, Lake Placid Democrat Tony Munnings Sr. became the first to jump into a race when he filed on May 1. He looks to flip the district now held by state Rep. Cary Pigman, an Avon Park Republican.

Both those seats are open, with Pigman and Magar termed out. Since Munnings and Snyder just entered the race in May, they haven’t filed any fundraising reports to date.

Meanwhile, a number of seats with incumbents running remain uncontested in the region.

Sitting lawmakers could not fundraise in April because they were prohibited from doing so during the Legislative Session. But all have healthy accounts as the 2020 elections draws closer.

State Rep. Melony Bell, a Bartow Republican, boasts $18,337 in her race for a second term in Florida House District 54.

Another freshman, state Rep. Will Robinson, has $16,000 in the bank. The Bradenton Republican seeks re-election in Florida House District 71.

In Florida House District 73, state Rep. Tommy Gregory, a Sarasota Republican, has raised $16,500 for his re-election campaign.

State Rep. James Buchanan, a Venice Republican, has $18,850 raised toward his efforts in Florida House District 74.

Veteran state Rep. Michael Grant, a Placida Republican, runs for a third consecutive term in Florida House District 75. He’s raised $12,656.

State Rep. Spencer Roach, a North Fort Myers Republican, has $25,248 raised toward re-election in Florida House District 79.

And state Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican, already raked in $35,926 as he seeks a third term in Florida House District 80.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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