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Chris Latvala talks about his struggle with COVID-19.

House Races — Tampa Bay

Chris Latvala brings in $44K, largest haul of campaign following COVID-19 battle

Latvala was in the hospital battling coronavirus during most of the fundraising period.

Republican incumbent Chris Latvala reported his highest fundraising period in his most recent campaign finance disclosure in the race for Florida House District 67.

For the period spanning Sept. 5 through Sept. 18, Latvala raised $44,650, growing his total contributions to $195,185.

Latvala was in the hospital battling coronavirus during most of the fundraising period, first admitted Aug. 29 through Sept. 1 and then returning Sept. 4 through Sept. 13. He has now recovered, after what he called “the hardest thing I have ever faced in my life.”

Because Latvala was unable to campaign or fundraise during most of the latest reporting period, Latvala’s numbers are particularly impressive and show he has a network of support to help him through this reelection campaign.

Latvala faces Democratic opponent Dawn Douglas, who has not yet filed a report for the most recent period, which is due by Friday evening. Although Douglas saw her highest numbers last period, her finances struggle to compete with Latvala’s.

Last period, Latvala had a $93,272 lead on Douglas, with $98,039 cash on hand compared to Douglas’ $4,766, which includes $2,500 in self-funding. After the most recent report, the incumbent now has $128,230 cash on hand.

In the recent period, the Florida Republican Party donated a hefty $10,000 to Latvala’s campaign. The incumbent also garnered several $1,000 donations from the Council for Senior Floridians, Florida Health Care PAC and Duke Energy Co., among others.

Even though the incumbent did not face a primary challenger, Latvala has spent $66,955 so far preparing for the General Election — including $14,459 in the most recent period, his highest spending spree yet. Douglas has spent $1,790 since she began her campaign, only spending $6 in her last report.

The two went head-to-head once before in 2018, in which Latvala won with 54% of the vote to Douglas’ 46% — a margin of about 4,900 voters. 

The District is an even split between parties, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by just a couple hundred voters. Of the 106,618 voters in District 67, 36,432 are Republicans and 36,792 are Democrats. Of the remaining voters, 1,390 are registered with a third party, and 32,004 have no party affiliation. While voter registration slightly favors Democrats, Republicans historically turn out in higher numbers, giving the GOP an edge.

HD 67 covers parts of mid- and north-Pinellas County, including Largo.

Written By

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at kelly@floridapolitics.com.

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