Jenna Persons outspending the field in HD 78
Jenna Persons, Roger Lolly

Persons Lolly
But Roger Lolly has more cash in the bank.

Fort Myers Republican Jenna Persons spent more on her House District 78 campaign in May than her opponents collectively received.

Philanthropist Roger Lolly still has more cash in the bank from a significant infusion through a candidate loan.

Persons reported another $3,870 in donations in May, the bulk of that coming through a $1,000 check from consultant Derek Whitis and another from his wife Courtney, as well as $1,000 from retiree Richard Neslund.

A prolific fundraiser from the beginning, Persons enjoyed the strongest month of all candidates in the race, albeit all totals were modest as a pandemic continued.

The recent donations brought Persons’ total contributions to $213,345.

But Lolly remains a significant competitor. He collected just $1,050 in May, chiefly a $1,000 check from Sanibel hospitality professional Douglas Towle.

That brings his total donations to $ 47,475. That’s just part of the story though. Lolly’s coffers remain enriched thanks to a $115,000 loan he reported in January. In total, he’s put $140,000 of his own money into the campaign.

He’s not yet started to spend that money. At the start of June, he had $144,305 in cash on hand. By comparison, Persons has $132,258.

Persons has spent $81,087 already, including $36,731 in May alone. More than $33,000 of that went to Jupiter-based Public Concepts for direct mail.

To date, Lolly has spent $43,170, including $16,631 last month. Nearly all of that went to various campaign services through Strategic Image Management in Tampa.

The third Republican in the race, Charlie Lynch, reported just $10 raised in May, and $2,955 total since filing in December.

Waiting in the wings is Democrat Shawn Williams, who raised $528 in May and $7,002 in total.

While Persons and Lolly remain the leaders in the resource race, all of the candidates have qualified for the ballot.

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].

One comment

  • Randy Krise

    June 14, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    Roger Lolly is leading this race without spending all his money before crunch time. His opponent send 6 mailers in a month and has gained no advance or taken an advantage in the polls. Roger Lolly will win this race and become our state representative for house district 78.

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