Day jobs take precedence for HD 76 candidates dealing with pandemic
Adam Botana, Jason Maughan

Botana Maughan
Jason Maughan has focused on City Council work, Adam Botana on his family's business.

Sanibel City Councilman Jason Maughan has spent a lot of time off the island this year. He’s been busy building regional name recognition while running in House District 76.

But as the COVID-19 global pandemic gripped the region, he’s turned his focus back to City Hall.

“When you hold elected office, your first responsibility is to protect the people you serve,” he said.

With that in mind, he collected just $250 in March for the campaign. That brings his total to $134,205 raised for the campaign. Minus expenses, he started April with $103,772 in cash on hand.

Comparatively, Estero businessman Adam Botana, his opponent in the GOP primary, raised $3,168 in March, bringing his total to $151,938. He has $127,307 left in the bank.

Maughn’s committee, Friends of Jason Maughan, also raised $11,500, totaling $36,500 since its launch in February. The Botana-affiliated Conservatives for Clean Water, though, has reported no activity.

There’s a lot of money sitting around in bank accounts, but as is the case with many a race expected to heat up this spring, typical politics has been on hold as the region deals with a pandemic.

Botana spoke with the News-Press recently, but about how his family business Bay Water Boat Rentals, has served guests in the pandemic.

Maughan tried in vain last month to get a stay-at-home order passed on Sanibel, which is now under one anyway thanks to a statewide order by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I said that we should do this and give our citizens some time before it was thrust upon them, but it went down 4-1,” he said. “A week later we had to do exactly what I proposed anyway.”

But he’s also pushed back against provisions in emergency orders, including in Sanibel, that allow Mayors to curtail gun purchased amid the pandemic.

There’s still a ways until the August 17 Republican primary, which as things stand now, will decide the Representative who succeeds Rep. Ray Rodridgues in the House.

Jacob Ogles

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 [email protected]


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