House District 82 candidate Rick Kozell made a statement with his first campaign finance report.
Thirty days in, the Jupiter Republican has almost $75,000 in hard money banked, making him the fundraising leader in what’s now a three-way primary featuring former Rep. Carl Domino and retired U.S. Marine John Snyder.
The haul included 58 checks for $1,000, the maximum allowable contribution for state legislative races. In all, Kozell collected 124 checks for an average contribution of $610 per donor.
And that’s just campaign cash.
Kozell, who ran for Florida’s 18th Congressional District in 2018, tacked on another $91,000 through his political committee, Rick Kozell for Florida.
That committee tally was led by $10,000 checks from Stuart retiree William Whittemore and Palm Beach nonprofit executive Amanda Schumacher. Other donors included All Purpose Construction, NRH Homes, and Beringer Properties.
By comparison, the past six months have seen Snyder raise a fraction of Kozell’s first-month haul.
As it stands, the Palm City Republican has $44,000 on hand to Kozell’s $165,000.
Domino, meanwhile, hasn’t raised a dime, though he has staked his campaign with $75,000 in candidate loans. However, he has spent just $30 of those funds since entering the race in late May.
HD 82 covers part of Palm Beach County, including Stuart. The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. MaryLynn Magar, who cannot run for reelection in 2020 because of term limits.
Jupiter Democrat Jeremy Kelly is also running for the seat. He has raised nothing thus far and faces an uphill climb in the GOP-friendly district.
The most recent book closing report from the Florida Division of Elections shows Republicans make up 46% of the district’s electorate, a 20-point advantage over registered Democrats.
The wide registration gap has produced wider results at the ballot box. In 2018, Magar won reelection over Democratic candidate Edward Francis O’Connor with 62% of the vote. President Donald Trump carried the district by an equal margin in 2016.