Former state Rep. Jim Boyd enters 2020 with a massive war chest as he aims to succeed Bill Galvano in the state Senate.
Meanwhile, Democratic opponent Amanda Linton continues her slow but steady build-up of small donations.
Boyd, a Bradenton Republican, entered the race in August and since that time raised $179,025. Of that, a good $32,757 has already been spent on consulting, advertising and media.
That’s more than Linton, a Hillsborough County teacher, raised in 2019. In the race since July, she pulled in $12,214.
That includes $2,654 raised in the month of December. Some $1,000 came from Manatee County philanthropist Susan Shirkey. The rest of it came from small donations mostly from within the district.
In contrast, Boyd continues to draw on big money players around the state.
He collected $8,100 in the month of December alone. That included $1,000 contributions from Lakeland-based grocery chain Publix, Tampa-based agriculture giant Lykes Bros. and Sarasota-based glass manufacturer PGT Industries.
The Building On Your Dreams Political Committee, chaired by Sarasota County School Board member Eric Robinson, also chipped in $1,000.
Crisafulli Consulting and Crisafulli Enterprises, both run by former House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, also both chipped in maximum donations.
Boyd served in House leadership under Crisafulli. Before being term limited from the House in 2016, Boyd rose to the post of Deputy Majority Leader and Majority Whip. Before that, he served as Mayor of Palmetto.
During his final years in office, Boyd devoted much of his energy to fighting the opioid epidemic, which hit his Manatee County-centric district especially hard.
Linton teaches at Strawberry Crest High School, and said she was inspired to run for office after President Donald Trump’s election.
She been meeting regularly with Manatee County Democratic groups as the first-time candidate looks to boost name recognition. She has stressed the importance of small donations.