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Bryan Blackwell is heating up a somewhat low-key Southwest Florida House race.

Legislative Campaigns

Strong January gives Bryan Blackwell cash lead

Advantage has shifted between himself and Mike Giallombardo.

Cape Coral Republican Bryan Blackwell pulled in five figures last month, besting primary opponent Mike Giallombardo in January fundraising.

For the moment, Giallombardo still has the most in total contributions, as he has the last couple of months. But Blackwell leads in cash in hand both because of a $20,000 loan and a resource-rich political committee associated with his campaign.

Blackwell raised $11,400 in January, bringing total checks to $61,940. He ultimately started February with $56,110 in his campaign account.

Meanwhile, the Friends of Bryan Blackwell committee started up with $140,000 that remains mostly untapped. The committee holds $129,832 in cash.

“I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from my friends and neighbors and how our message of backing the President and his policies are resonating among voters,” Blackwell said.

“We are pedal to the metal now through victory.”

By comparison, Giallombardo pulled in $7,200 in new contributions in January. That brings total contributions to $68,631, all outside dollars. The campaign has been more frugal than Blackwell’s and has $51,376 in cash available.

The race to succeed Rep. Dane Eagle has seen the fundraising lead bounce back and forth between the two Republicans. The race still holds the potential to become explosive.

Giallombardo enjoys Eagle’s endorsement. Blackwell, meanwhile served last year as President of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and built up business connections.

Browsing contributions, Giallombardo in January picked up $1,000 checks from software developer Shannon Donev and from Kitson Investment Partners, which is associated with Babcock Ranch.

Blackwell, meanwhile, saw support tick up from real estate interests. Realtor Jennifer Cottrell gave $1,000, as did handyman husband Jason and business, JCI Home Services. Environmental Services executive Douglas Comrie and wife Carolyn each donated $1,000. Contractor Michael Clark also wrote a maximum donation.

So did Realmark Realty Partners, Quest Resources USA and Catawba Resources.

The For a Better Florida Committee, associated with Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, also donated $1,000.

Democrat Joshua Lopez raised $425 in January, the bulk of $575 in total contributions he’s raised.

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 jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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