Bill Olson top CD 9 Republican by far in fundraising
Republican candidates in Florida's 9th Congressional District are Bill Olson, Sergio Ortiz, Jose Castillo, and Chris Wright.

Bill Olson, Sergio Ortiz, Jose Castillo, Chris Wright
Olson has raised $220K so far.

Republican congressional candidate Bill Olson collected more than $32,000 in campaign funds in July, more than any of his three Republican primary opponents have managed through their entire campaigns in Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Olson, a retired Army soldier, and former Walt Disney World employee, now has raised $220,933 for his effort to go after Democratic Rep. Darren Soto in CD 9, which covers Osceola County and parts of Orange and Polk counties. That includes $32,041 he banked in the pre-primary reporting period of July 1-29.

It placed Olson in the position of being the only Republican candidate who has raised any significant amount of money. But he has spent nearly all of it battling with Jose Castillo, Christopher Wright, and Sergio Ortiz in the August 18 Republican primary. On July 29 he reported having $21,627 left.

Meanwhile, Soto, without a primary opponent for the first time, reported raising less than Olson during the July 1-29 period, $31,337. Soto now has raised $743,348 for his reelection bid for a third term, and on July 29 he had $262,291 in the bank.

Soto’s July collections included $17,316 from individuals and another $14,021 from political action committees. His latest PAC contributions included $5,000 from UnitedHealth Group, $2,500 from UBS Americas, $1,500 apiece from the American Bankers Association and National Rural Electric Cooperative, and $1,446 from the Democratic PAC Moving America Forward.

Castillo failed to file a campaign finance report for the pre-primary reporting period, drawing a warning letter Friday from the Federal Election Commission. Prior to July 1, Castillo had raised $25,306, including $4,500 he lent his own campaign. His campaign entered July with $3,769 in the bank.

Wright picked up $5,035 in July, bringing his total campaign collections to $18,360, including $6,000 he lent his own campaign. Through July 29, he had spent all but $1,232 of that.

Ortiz also failed to file a campaign finance report for the pre-primary reporting period and also drew a warning letter Friday from the FEC. Prior to that, he had raised $10,745 and had spent all but $305 of it.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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