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Roger Lolly makes the ballot by petition.


Roger Lolly drops $115K loan into House campaign

“I am putting my money where my mouth is.”

Philanthropist Roger Lolly pumped up his House campaign coffers in January with $115,000 loan.

It’s a move that puts his war chest instantly above six figures, in a competitive stance with Fort Myers attorney Jenna Persons in the District 78 contest.

“Our family has been blessed in so many ways, I feel so strongly in our campaign and its message that I am putting my money where my mouth is,” Lolly said.

“From day one, this campaign has been about focusing on giving our friends and neighbors around Fort Myers a voice. Someone who will wake up every morning fighting to keep the American Dream alive for the next generation.

“That means eliminating Lake Okeechobee freshwater releases that fuel red tide blooms. That means investing in our public schools, so our children learn civics, abide by the rule of law and are responsible for their own actions. That means keeping taxes low so people can continue to provide for themselves and their families,”

But most of the money remains his own and it’s still largely untouched. The loan comes on top of other self-funding, with candidate loans now constituting $140,000.

Lolly also raised $1,050 in January, putting total contributions at $41,575.

Together, he now boasts cash on hand lead, with $162,352.

But he still faces Persons, a prolific fundraiser who pulled in a six-figure total within days of announcing.

Notably, she had a slow January, pulling in just $835. That said, the money came after a highly successful 2019.

Persons has raised a total $180,045 without pulling a loan. Subtract spending, she’s got around $152,484.

With Persons and Lolly together holding more than $310,000 in cash on hand, the GOP primary appears to be between the two Republicans.

Pharmaceuticals consultant Charlie Lynch jumped into the race in December. But in January, he raised $830, bringing his total over two months to $2,630. Subtract spending and he has $2,255.

Meanwhile, Democrat Shawn Michael Williams posted just $15 in January, the same as he did in December. He’s raised $6,251 total, and holds $4,086, including $100 loan.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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