Parties spend first $1 million in SD 9 battle

sigman v brodeur
The parties are saturating Orlando television markets.

The two party committees aiming to elect either a Republican or a Democrat in the Senate District 9 race now have spent their first $1 million to back Jason Brodeur and Patricia Sigman.

TheFlorida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee combined to spend nearly that much just in the past three weeks on TV commercials saturating the Orlando market.

This is a contest for an open seat covering Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County that Republicans have held for decades, but which Democrats feel is within their grasp.

The candidates and their committees have briskly raised and spent money both in their official campaign committees and their independent political action committees.

Yet the real action is going on through the two party committees. Both Brodeur’s Friends of Jason Brodeur and Sigman’s United For Change have transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to the respective party’s legislative campaign committees. Those committees do not report their campaign finance activity as often, so their spending on Brodeur’s and Sigman’s behalf may not be fully revealed for months.

Already, however, it is far more than the candidates have contributed to the FRSCC or the FDLCC. either through their campaigns or through their independent political committees.

The legislative campaign committees are officially spending their money on three-pack campaign ads to support three candidates. However, the Republican committee’s ads are all about just one candidate, Brodeur, or attacking Sigman; and the Democrats’ ads are all about Sigman, or attacking Brodeur.

Since mid-August, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee has purchased at least $623,232 of airtime on Orlando’s four biggest TV stations, according to the Federal Communications Commission. That spending does not include production of the commercials, or agency fees.

The Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has purchased at least $340,566 worth of airtime on WFTV, WESH, WKMG and WOFL since the August primaries, according to the FCC records.

The commercials began in a flurry in mid-August and have continued.

This comes as the latest campaign finance reports with the Florida Division of Elections show that Brodeur’s official campaign fund now has raised $795,980 in cash and received $437,071 in in-kind services, mostly from the FRSCC. In the latest reports, Brodeur’s campaign had raised $53,345 since August 14, and spent $26,841. That left the campaign with $256,006 left on Sept. 4.

Brodeur’s Friends of Jason Brodeur has raised nearly $2.5 million and has spent nearly $2.2 million. That included $45,000 raised since mid-August, and $5,500 spent, so the committee had $316,121 left on Sept. 4. In early August the PAC sent $230,000 to the FRSCC.

Sigman’s campaign committee had raised $294,778 through Sept. 4, and had received another $210,411 in in-kind contributions, mostly through the FDLCC. Since Aug. 14, the campaign had raised $51,812 and spent $68,251, so it had $33,482 left on Sept. 4.

Her United For Change committee had raised $303,440 and spent $287,323. Most of that spending came in a $260,000 transfer from that PAC to the FDLCC on August 26. United For Change had just $16,117 left on Sept. 4.

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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