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Legislative Campaigns

Jackie Toledo ends 2019 with more than $200K banked for reelection

Toledo now faces a Democratic challenger.

Rep. Jackie Toledo closed out 2019 with quite the campaign war chest.

The Tampa Republican raised $13,500 in December bringing her total raised so far to more than $210,000.

Toledo faces Democratic challenger Julie Jenkins in the 2020 election. Jenkins didn’t officially enter the race until the beginning of this month, so couldn’t raise funds in December. Her campaign kickoff is Jan. 21. Kickoffs are typically when candidates start their aggressive fundraising push.

Of her total December haul, Toledo took in $8,000 from maximum contributions. That includes $1,000 checks from pharmaceutical company Abbvie Inc., America’s Export Corporation, Vandergrift-Williams Farms, Mag Mutual Florida PAC, Mid Gulf Holdings and development group 2101 Platt LLC and its manager, developer Christopher Chapman, among others.

Toledo’s contributions averaged $690 each. Not a single contribution was less than $250.

Toledo spent just over $5,000 in December including $2,500 to Catalyst Communications Group, the firm led by former Congressman David Jolly staffer Preston Rudie. She paid another $1,200 to Political Accounting Group based in Jensen Beach led by GOP strategist Michael Millner.

Toledo has spent a total of $87,553 to date, leaving her with about $112,000 on hand.

Jenkins will have a window to try to catch up to her incumbent opponent’s totals. Incumbents are not allowed to raise funds during Legislative Session, which begins Tuesday.

That will give Jenkins 60-days, more if session is extended and less if Sine Die comes early, to raise funds while her opponent cannot.

Jenkins will have an uphill battle on her hands. House District 60, which includes south Tampa and the city’s westernmost boundary, favors Republicans by about 6,500 voters.

Jenkins filed to run for the seat Jan. 2. Her kickoff party later this month will be at Pané Rustica Cafe and Bakery at 5:30 on Jan. 21. As of Monday afternoon, 37 people had indicated they planned to attend with another 82 interested in the event. Jenkins is also planning to march with supporters in Tampa’s MLK Day Parade Jan. 20.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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