While Cape Coral Republican Dane Eagle already has six figures in his campaign account, he hasn’t started campaigning in earnest.
That’s set to change next month, when the four-term state representative holds a kickoff event for his bid in Florida’s 19th Congressional District. The venue is booked, and the date is set: 5 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Marina at Edison Ford, 2360 W. First St., Ft. Myers
Eagle is looking to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, who said he would not seek reelection in 2020. Notably, Rooney is among the only House Republicans to say he’s keeping an “open mind” about impeaching President Donald Trump.
Eagle’s taken the opposite approach since announcing his candidacy earlier this month, showing rock solid support for the embattled President. The email blast announcing the fundraiser doesn’t deviate.
“This important election relies on the support from committed conservatives like yourself, and I look forward to seeing everyone there as we begin our campaign to stand up for Southwest Florida and help President Trump Keep America Great,” the message reads.
Indeed, Eagle will need to court the conservative crowd to win the deep red Southwest Florida seat, and as the first major Republican candidate in what’s expected to be a crowded race, he has the opportunity to get off to a fast start.
Republican Daniel Severson has already thrown his hat into the ring and some of Eagle’s colleagues could do so as well.
Currently, Republican Reps. Byron Donalds, Heather Fitzenhagen and Bob Rommel are mulling a move up to the federal level. As are South Florida Water Management District chair Chauncey Goss and lawyer Derek A. Schwartz.
State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto is just about the only Republican politician not considering a run.
She announced her decision a couple days before Eagle entered the race, despite her holding a sizeable lead in an early poll of the district.
The fundraiser invitation is below. Supporters looking to attend can RSVP online.