Five Democrats may be running for the seat opening in Senate District 9 but a month into 2020 it is becoming clear the Florida Democratic machine is lining up to back Patricia Sigman — just as Republicans have done with Jason Brodeur.
January campaign finance filings show that in addition to $90,000 in campaign contributions Sigman received in her first month on the trail, she also received $27,567 in in-kind support, including salaried staff, courtesy of the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, headed by Sen. Gary Farmer of Fort Lauderdale. She was recruited to run in SD 9 by the Democrat’s Senate Victory Committee, which Farmer also heads.
That $27,000 in support represents more value than any of her four Democratic opponents have received in all outside contributions over several months. In fact, it’s almost as much as they’ve all collected combined.
Brodeur, a former state Representative who is president of the Seminole County Regional Chamber of Commerce, also is enjoying party support. In January he benefitted from $20,000 in polling and research donated by the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, headed by Sen. Wilton Simpson. That’s on top of $36,000 in donated services the committee provided Brodeur in December.
Sigman, an Altamonte Springs labor lawyer, picked up $90,810 in cash donations and $27,567 in donated services for her official campaign, and another $24,750 in donations for an independent political committee supporting her, United for Change.
Nearly all of her contributions came from individuals, including a $10,o00 check from Winter Springs accountant Mark Lammert, a $5,000 check from Orlando financial manager Carrie Ann Callahan, and a $3,000 check from Winter Park attorney Jay Cohen. All of those donations went to Sigman’s political committee, United for Change. Her campaign picked up 51 maximum $1,000 donations in her first month on the trail.
Meanwhile, Brodeur’s January fundraising haul included $39,095 in cash contributions and $20,000 in donated services for his official campaign, and another $46,000 for the independent political committee supporting him, Friends of Jason Brodeur.
His biggest January donations, to Friends of Jason Brodeur, included $6,000 from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and $5,000 checks from Pfizer Inc., the Florida Distributing Co., Pearl Holding Group, South Florida Racing Association, and the Larry J. Overton and Associates lobbying firm.
After expenses, Brodeur’s now two-year campaign entered February with $254,789 in cash in his campaign, and another $535,408 in Friends of Jason Brodeur.
With expenses, Sigman enters February with $89,358 in cash in her campaign and another $22,574 in United For Change.
Among the other Democrats running, Alexis Carter of Altamonte Springs raised $480 in January and entered February with $26,563 in his campaign. Rick Ashby of Oviedo had no financial activity in January and entered February with $800 in the bank. Guerdy Remy raised $10 and finished January with $320 in cash; and H. Duncan Alexander of Geneva reported raising $425 in January, but finished the month with just $294 in the bank.
SD 9 is opening because Republican Rep. David Simmons is term limited. The district covers Seminole County and parts of southern and western Volusia County.