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2020

Danny Burgess surpasses $300K, spends $55K in largest spree this cycle

Burgess and opponent Kathy Lewis both saw their highest spending report this period.  

Republican nominee Danny Burgess and Democratic opponent Kathy Lewis both saw their highest spending report this period as the two face off for Senate District 20.

Burgess dominated this period, which spanned Sept. 5 through Sept. 18. The Republican candidate raised $59,450 — his second highest haul after raking in $60,505 in June.

This significant fundraising period brought Burgess’ campaign past the $300K mark, as his campaign has now collected $331,740 since its start in June.

Lewis had her highest fundraising period, too, although the numbers are a tough comparison to her opponent’s. Lewis raised $13,804 this period, bringing her total fundraising to $57,840. Lewis also gave $248 to her own campaign this period.

The two candidates show a stark difference in donors, with Burgess collecting nearly all of his finances this period from about 65 PACs and businesses, most giving $1,000 contributions. Some of Burgess’ donors include Amscot Financial Inc., Sunshine State First PAC, Serious Conservatives PAC, Florida Taxpayers Defense PAC and Prosperity for Pasco PAC.

Lewis’ donors included about 150 individuals, although she did receive a $5,000 party donation from the Democratic Executive Committee.

The two are amping up spending as the November General Election inches closer — both saw their highest spending periods in the latest finance report.

Burgess spent $55,453 this period, primarily on advertising. Lewis spent $7,300, including a $3,644 reimbursement to herself from prior loans the candidate made to her campaign.

Currently, the Republican frontrunner has $173,388 cash on hand as the General Election approaches, while Democratic challenger Lewis has about $39,000.

Burgess entered the race with strong party backing, earning several key Republican endorsements. Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson and Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo, as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody have all endorsed Burgess.

The district, which covers parts of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, leans only slightly right. Of the district’s 335,060 registered voters, 120,325 are Republicans and 117,135 are Democrats. The district also has 4,440 third party voters and 93,158 voters with no party affiliation.

The race for Senate District 20 is a Special Election, following the early resignation of Sen. Tom LeeThe seat was not supposed to be up for election until 2022. Lee endorsed Burgess as his successor. Though it’s technically a Special Election, the race will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Lee, a vice president of Sabal Homes of Florida, served in the Senate from 1996 to 2006 and returned in 2012. Lee also went up against current candidate Lewis in 2018, where he defeated her by 7 percentage points.

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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