Jenna Persons crosses $300K raised in race for HD 78
Jenna Persons speaks at a fundraiser at The Edison. Photo by Jacob Ogles

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Roger Lolly is in second.

The House District 78 race financial tally continues to be dominated by Jenna Persons who is facing two other Republicans in the primary.

Persons has garnered about $194,000 in campaign contributions through February, state elections records show. She drew about $14,000 in contributions last month alone, her best fundraising month since June. Persons still has plenty of cash on hand as she’s only spent about $28,000 on expenditures so far, leaving some $166,000 yet to be utilized.

Bolstering Persons’s financial power is her political committee “Conservative Legacy Fund.” The committee had a total of $117,000 in total contributions through February and only about $8,800 of that has been spent.

Republican Roger Lolly has raised about $44,600 through February. Lolly has already spent about half his contributions, racking up about $22,000 in expenditures. He has also staked his campaign with $140,000 in candidate loans. He has $162,000 on hand.

Republican Charles Lynch shows no signs of serious campaign financing as he’s raised only about $2,800 through February, according to state records.

Waiting in the wings to see who emerges victorious in the Republican primary is Democrat Shawn Williams. He’s raised only about $6,500 through February and he’s only spent about $2,500 of that on expenditures so far.

Persons is an attorney in Fort Myers and she’s from a family whose descendants go back six generations in Southwest Florida.

Many of her contributions are from those in the legal field. She’s also fielded support from groups such as the Florida Police Benevolent Association which gave two $1,000 contributions to her campaign in February among dozens of other contributions.

Lolly founded the “If I Can Dream Foundation.” It’s a Southwest Florida nonprofit designed to empower local residents and help with employment opportunities. He only had four contributions to his campaign in February including two from Friendly Frankies Liquors at $500 each, one from Cape Coral and the other from Bonita Springs.

HD 78 lies inland largely enveloping the city of Fort Myers and areas just south of the Southwest Florida metropolitan area. The district is heavily Republican as Republican Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen won the 2018 election handily, defeating Democrat Parisma Taeb.

Fitzenhagen is vacating the seat due to term limits.

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