Two Jacksonville Republicans in the state House face general-election challenges. December fundraising shows they are taking them seriously.
Duggan, already fundraising at a strong clip before Thomas entered the race in the fall, closed out 2019 with $17,500 of new hard money and an additional $4,500 in his political committee.
Duggan has $86,000 in his campaign account and another $35,000 in the PC. Thomas, meanwhile, has $412.50 on hand after December contributions.
The Westside Jacksonville district is almost perfectly purple: of the 103,293 voters in HD 15, there are 39,997 Republicans and 40,323 Democrats.
However, Duggan ran against and defeated, narrowly, the big-spending Tracye Polson in 2018. It’s hard to imagine a Democrat without capital capsizing an incumbent Republican, despite the nominal Democratic lean in the district.
In HD 16, second-term Republican Rep. Jason Fischer answered a Democratic ballot challenger with another emphatic fundraising flurry, raising $45,000 in December between his campaign account and his political committee.
The political committee has $145,000 on hand, after a $36,750 December haul. Disney, with a $5,000 check, paced all donors.
Fischer’s campaign account brought in $8,250, giving it nearly $66,000 on hand.
Democratic challenger Ben Marcus filed his first finance report, and the numbers aren’t comparable to Fischer’s.
Marcus raised nearly $5,500, and has stated an intent not only to avoid a so-called “dark money” committee, but to refuse money from political committees as well.
“We will be completely transparent in our fundraising and hold community conversations all over the district with voters of all stripes. It’s far too normative at this point for politicians to have political committees,” Marcus said last year, “which I believe subvert campaign finance law and take massive amounts of money from special interests.”
“My opponent is a prime example of this behavior,” Marcus added. “I will never have a political committee nor take money from them, businesses, or PACs. It will be a harder road fundraising, but is the right thing to do.”
Compared to HD 15, HD 16 is a more GOP leaning district. Fischer fended off a general election challenger in 2018, winning by double digits.