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Republicans pump up House campaigns for Scott Plakon, Bob Cortes

RPOF gives $25K to Plakon’s campaign, $20K to Cortes’.

The battle for Seminole County’s seats in the Florida Legislature is on, with the Republican Party of Florida serving notice it intends to win there.

The RPOF donated $25,000 to Rep. Scott Plakon for his reelection campaign and another $20,000 into Bob Cortes‘ campaign in the past couple of weeks. That’s in addition to tens of thousands of dollars worth of in-kind services the RPOF  provided to House campaigns in Seminole County in late August.

Plakon is hoping to hold off Democratic challenger Tracey Kagan in House District 29 in western Seminole County, while Cortes, who used  to represent House District 30 in central Seminole and northern Orange County, is hoping to win a rematch there against Democratic Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil.

In addition, the RPOF provided $3,000 worth of in-kind services in late August to Rep. David Smith, who is hoping to hold off Democratic challenger Pasha Baker in House District 28, representing eastern Seminole. Meanwhile the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to help Jason Brodeur win Senate District 9, which represents Seminole and parts of southern Volusia County.

All of the Seminole Republicans, Plakon, Cortes, Smith, and Brodeur, have comfortable campaign cash advantages over their Democratic opponents. But the Democrats believe they can win all of the seats with an evolving Seminole electorate and grassroots efforts, leading Republicans to up their cash commitments.

In HD 28, Smith, a business consultant from Winter Springs, has raised more than $369,000, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Since Aug. 14, he raised nearly $39,000 of that, while spending about $15,000. He had $253,874 left in the bank on Sept 4.

Baker, a non-profit executive from Sanford, meanwhile came out of a close Democratic primary and raised about $7,000 since Aug. 14. She now has raised $42,943, and had $10,377 in the bank on Sept. 4.

In HD 29, Plakon, a publisher from Lake Mary, has raised $244,740, including $20,000 he lent his campaign. The $37,870 he has raised since Aug. 14 includes the $25,000 check from the RPOF, and 11 $1,000 maximum contributions from others. On Sept. 4 Plakon’s campaign had $185,124 in the bank.

Plakon also got $21,237 in-kind services from the RPOF since Aug. 14.

Kagan, a lawyer from Longwood, has raised $136,837, including $39,000 since Aug. 14, which included 20 $1,000 checks, and a $5,000 check from the Florida Democratic Party. Her campaign had $107,088 in the bank on Sept. 4.

In HD 30, Cortes, a businessman from Altamonte Springs, has raised $132,785. The $30,000 he has raised since Aug. 14 included the $20,000 RPOF check. Cortes’ campaign had $84,854 in the bank on Sept. 4.

Goff-Marcil has raised $53,187, including $8,300 since Aug. 14. Her campaign had $47,184 in the bank on Sept. 4.

Written By

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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