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Julie Jenkins raises big in 1st month against Jackie Toledo; still has long way to go

Jenkins made a strong first-month showing, but Toledo’s war chest is strong.

Julie Jenkins will report more than $43,000 raised in January, her campaign announced Tuesday.

Jenkins, a Democrat, is running in the House District 60 race to unseat Republican Jackie Toledo.

January is the first month Jenkins raised any funds. She entered the race on Jan. 2.

“Our neighbors know what is at stake in this election, and they want someone that will listen and fight for them, not fall in line with special interests. I have deep roots in this community, I’ve raised my family here, started a business here, and worked with members of my community on the issues most important to them,” Jenkins said.

“The strength of our fundraising from so many grassroots donors shows that the community is behind us, and they are clearly hungry for change. Our message of fighting for public education, affordable health care, and our environment, the economic engine of our state, is resonating with our district.”

Jenkins did not provide details on her campaign donors or January spending. January fundraising details are not yet available on the Florida Division of Elections website and aren’t due until Feb. 10.

While Jenkins’ self-reported January earnings are impressive — she had only taken a month to raise more than $43,000 — Jenkins still has a long way to go to catch up to the massive buying power Toledo has amassed.

Toledo raised $46,600 last February and had her most productive month in October when she raised nearly $72,000. As of the end of 2019, Toledo raised more than $210,000.

It’s not clear yet how much Toledo raised in January, though eventual reports might show a slower month. As an incumbent, Toledo was only allowed to raise funds during the first two weeks of the month as lawmakers are not allowed to raise money during the Legislative Session, which began Jan. 14.

Toledo raised $13,500 in December, which also tends to be a slow month for fundraising as would-be donors shift their spending to the holidays.

As of the end of December, Toledo spent a total of $87,553, leaving her with about $123,000 in the bank.

Jenkins will have all of February and at least part of March to play fundraising catch up as Toledo continues with the 2020 Legislative Session.

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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