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The many moods of Colin McArthur. Photos via campaign website.

Legislative Campaigns

Clay Yarborough challenger self-funds but cash gap still huge

A primary challenger to a Jacksonville Republican legislator is putting his money where his mouth is.

A primary challenger to a Jacksonville Republican legislator is putting his money where his mouth is.

Colin McArthur, challenging second-term Rep. Clay Yarborough in HD 12, fronted his campaign a $20,000 loan on July 7.

Thus far, that’s the only money that has come into the campaign, at least through July 10.

The money was put in the campaign account on July 7, according to Florida Division of Elections records.

The day before, Florida Politics interviewed McArthur, asking him specifically about fundraising.

“That is a great question,” the candidate said. “I’m not sure if I want to disclose that.”

Ultimately, state law compels such disclosures, and self-financing was the move through at least July 10.

McArthur has put a total of $22,500 of his own money into the effort, and retained roughly $17,000 of that as of July 10, the last date for which he has filed numbers.

Yarborough, meanwhile, continues fundraising steadily, raising $7,850 in the week ending July 17. Among the donors: Conservatives for a Better Florida, the political committee of Rep. Daniel Perez, poised to be House Speaker in 2024.

The incumbent has slicker ads this cycle than previous, hitting red meat issues.

One spot, narrated by Yarborough, described a pandemic, an “economic meltdown” and “riots in the streets.”

“You can be sure when the Defund the Police crowd show up at my office, I’ll show them the door … because America’s in trouble right now and we’re running out of time.”

Whether Yarborough or challenger McArthur wins the primary, there will be a competitive election in November, with two sparsely-funded Democrats squaring off.

Spyros (Speed) Chialtas, a real estate agent by trade, has raised just over $4,000, with $988 of that on hand. In the week ending July 17, the last week for which he has filed numbers, he did not fundraise.

Emmanuel Blimie, a second Democrat running, has vowed not to take a salary if elected. He hasn’t taken donations either. His sole fundraising through July 10, the last date he had filed for as of this writing, was a $5,000 personal loan.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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