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2020

Darren Soto enters 2020 with $290K in campaign coffer

Soto’s fourth quarter earnings were modest, but he has little competition.

Democratic Rep. Darren Soto‘s campaign picked up $155,500 during the fourth quarter of 2019 and entered the election year with $290,848 in cash to support his reelection bid in Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Soto is seeking a third term in the district representing southern Osceola County, southern Orange County, and eastern Polk County.

He posted modest campaign fundraising for an incumbent but remained comfortably well-endowed compared to any of his challengers.

In the fourth quarter his campaign cashed political action committee checks totaling $105,500 and checks from individual supporters for another $50,030. That put him at $498,203 raised with $290,808 left in the bank.

Among his challengers, Republican Army veteran Bill Olson of Davenport reported picking up $25,736 in the fourth quarter giving him $241,517 raised, plus $8,600 he lent his campaign, for a total campaign receipts of $50,145, and $15,288 in the bank at the start of the year. Republican Jose Castillo reported raising $3,144 in the quarter and $5,462 overall, and entered 2020 with just $527 in the bank.

The Federal Election Commission has not posted any campaign finance activity for Republican mortgage banker Sergio Ortiz or for independent candidates Greg Anderson, Anthony Davila, John Rallison, or Edgar Hernandez Reyes.

Among the top contributors to Soto’s campaign in the fourth quarter of 2019 were PACs representing the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades union, which gave two $5,000 donations; American Hospital Association with $5,000 and $2,500 donations; the UNITE HERE union, $5,000; U.S. Israel, $4,000; Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of California, $2,800; and Abbot Laboratories, American Academy of Ophthalmology, General Motors, National Cotton Council, National Multifamily Housing Council, American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, T-Mobile, and United Health Care with $2,500 each donated to the campaign.

Soto also picked up 26 checks of at least $1,000 from individuals, led by a $2,800 check from Julie Lenden of California. None of Soto’s four-figure individual donations came from people who listed addresses within his district.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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