Democrat Andrew Learned continued his fundraising lead over Republican opponent Michael Owen in the most recent campaign finance report, as the two go head-to-head for House District 59.
Learned reported his highest campaign fundraising report to date, collecting $37,160 in contributions this period, which spanned Aug. 22 through Sept. 4. Owen raised $11,025 in the same span.
The Democratic nominee also had his highest expenditure period this report, spending $17,475 on campaign services. Owen, on the other hand, only dished out $5,936.
Learned received a hefty contribution from the Florida Democratic Party — $15,000, as well as an in-kind contribution for polling data worth $12,825. The Democratic candidate also received $1,000 from the International Union of Operation, and many smaller donations from dozens of individual donors. So far, the 1,931 individual contributions compared to Owen’s 284
Owen received several $1,000 contributions from political committees, including the Beer Distributors Committee for Good Government, Hillsborough Fire Action Committee and Floridians for Liberty and Innovation PAC.
So far, Learned has led the race in fundraising, adding $198,830 over the life of his campaign. The Democrat also has an additional $23,040 in his Serve Florida PAC, bringing his total funding to about $221,870; however, the PAC has not been active since the start of August, when it raised $5,000.
Owen trails Learned with $130,838 in campaign donations, although the Republican nominee has also added $85,900 to his campaign from his own pocket.
Learned, who currently has about $106,960 cash on hand, did not face a primary challenger, letting him save for the critical stretch nearing the November election. Owen, however, ended this period with only $16,050 cash on hand, following a costly primary battle and a bad fundraising period in the week prior, where he only managed to bring in $100.
The Democrat’s lead comes after a big spending spree by Owen leading up to the Aug. 18 primary. While Owen won the GOP Primary Election against Danny Kushmer, he spent nearly $192,000 in the process.
The open race in Florida House District 59 is an important one for both Florida Democrats and Republicans this November.
The seat opened when incumbent Rep. Adam Hattersley opted to run instead for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, which he lost to investigative reporter Alan Cohn in the Aug. 18 Democratic primary.
His departure leaves the door open for Republicans to reclaim the seat Hattersley flipped blue just two years ago. And, it’s a must-win for Democrats looking to retake the Florida House.