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Alan Cohn raises big in fourth quarter for congressional campaign

The Democrat raised $117,000 in the final quarter of 2019.

Congressional candidate Alan Cohn raised $117,000 in the final quarter of 2019, his campaign announced Tuesday.

The fourth quarter covers October through December.

Cohn’s three-month earnings follow an aggressive initial fundraising push in which Cohn raised $73,000 in the final three weeks of the third quarter, the first period in which he was a declared candidate.

The combined earnings put Cohn at more than $190,000 raised to date.

The campaign says its earnings include contributions from more than 1,000 donations.

Cohn is running in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 15th Congressional District against state Rep. Adam Hattersley. Hattersley has not yet announced his fourth quarter earnings and reports are not due to the Federal Division of Elections until the end of the month.

Republican Congressman Ross Spano is seeking reelection to the district and will face whoever wins the Democratic primary. Spano has also not yet released his fundraising totals for the fourth quarter.

“I’m grateful for all of the support our campaign has received. With my background in speaking truth to power as an investigative journalist, I am the best candidate to defeat Ross Spano, who is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department,” Cohn said. “That is why I have been endorsed by the Teamsters, Senator Bob Graham, Congresswoman Gwen Graham, and Congressman Patrick Murphy.”

Graham and Murphy no longer serve in Congress. Both left office to run in other races — Graham for Florida Governor and Murphy for the U.S. Senate. Neither were successful in their bids.

“I look forward to continuing to build support for our campaign in the upcoming months so that I can communicate on the issues that matter most to us — from fixing our healthcare to creating an economy that works for all,” Cohn added.

As of the end of September, Hattersley had raised nearly $115,000 and had about $70,000 left in the bank.

Cohn didn’t announce his fourth quarter spending, but as of the end of September had nearly $67,000 on hand.

Spano, meanwhile, has had some lackluster finance reports. He closed out his second quarter $16,000 in the red. That deficit was thanks to $170,000 in personal loans Spano accepted in his 2018 elections, loans that have Spano now under federal investigation for campaign finance violations over campaign contribution limits.

Spano repaid $110,000 of those loans in the third quarter, leaving $60,000 still owed. He reported $71,000 cash on hand at the end of September with nearly $67,000 still owed on the remaining loan balance and other campaign debts.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is not backing a primary candidate yet, but the group is heavily targeting Spano to flip his seat blue.

Democrats are hoping Spano’s campaign finance scandal will secure a victory for the party this year after Democrat Kristen Carlson lost to Spano by six points in 2018.

Carlson is backing Hattersley in the 2020 election.

CD 15 includes parts of east Hillsborough County.

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 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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