Heading out of primaries, Jose Javier Rodriguez, David Smith have the cash
Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez and Rep. David Smith.

Jose Javier Rodriguez and David Smith
At least $200K is in the bank for 5 Senate, 2 House candidates.

Heading out of the Primary Elections, Democratic state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez and Republican state Rep. David Smith lead state legislative candidates with cash-on-hand for General Election campaigns.

Rodriguez headed into the General Election with $429,808 in his campaign bank account, according to a compilation of campaign finance reports through last Friday provided by Christina Johnson’s On 3 Public Relations.

That should give him a definitive fundraising head start on his Republican opponent, Illeana Garcia, in Senate District 37 in Miami-Dade County. She enters with a credible, but still much smaller, $49,441 in the bank. There also is an independent candidate, Alex Rodriguez, who reported having $772 on hand.

Among House candidates, Smith, of Winter Springs, topped the state with $229,834, according to On 3 Public Relations’ data.

He’s facing Democrat Pasha Baker in House District 28 in Seminole County. Baker, a Sanford community activist and businesswoman, just dispatched Lee Mangold in one of the closest House Democratic primaries in the state. She spent most of the $39,000 she raised to win that primary, and so on Friday she had just $4,115 left to start launch her campaign against Smith.

Neither Rodriguez nor Smith had primaries to worry about.

Among other Senate candidates sitting on fat bank accounts: Democrat Loranne Ausley, with $322,753 on hand for her bid in Senate District 3; Republican Sen. Debbie Mayfield, with $263,427 for her reelection bid in Senate District 17; Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell, with $245,149 for her reelection bid in Senate District 25; and Republican former Rep. Jason Brodeur with $241,488 on hand for his campaign to win Senate District 9.

In House races, Democratic Sen. Ben Diamond came forward with $200,270 for his reelection bid in House District 68; Republican Sen. Vance Aloupis had $198,065 for reelection in House District 115; Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca had $180,912 for his his reelection bid in House District 93; Republican Rep. Chris Sprowls had $170,452 in his reelection fund for House District 65.

The cash totals are for their official campaigns only. They do not include independent political action committees some candidates control that often have even more money than their official campaigns. Nor do they necessarily reflect candidates that likely will benefit from floods of outside campaigning done by interested PACs.

Among races to watch where two candidates head toward the general with significant amounts of money in hand:

In Senate District 39, Republican Ana Maria Rodriguez had $188,356 in the bank on Friday, while Democratic opponent Javier Fernandez had $183,183.

In House District 21, Democratic challenger Kayser Enneking had banked $168,736 prior to the primary, while Republican Rep. Chuck Clemons came forward with $143,908.

In House District 29, Republican Rep. Scott Plakon had $160,762, while Democratic challenger Tracey Kagan had $70,814.

In House District 60, Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo had $136,283, while Democratic challenger Julie Jenkins had $75,307.

In House District 85, Republican Rep. Rick Roth had $107, 371, while Democratic challenger Jim Carroll had $66,560.

In House District 93, LaMarca’s $180,912, compared with Democratic challenger Linda Thompson Gonzalez‘s $75,695.

In House District 115, Aloupis’ $198,065 compared with Democratic challenger Franccesca Cesti-Browne‘s $67,065.

And in House District 118 Republican Rep. Anthony Rodriguez had $137,263 while Democratic challenger Ricky Junquera had $122,274.

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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