Despite raising a quarter of a million dollars for his bid to be elected in House District 42, Republican Fred Hawkins Jr. continues to move modestly into the General Election campaign with about the same amount of cash on hand as Democrat Barbara Cady, about $26,000 apiece.
Hawkins spent the bulk of his money to win a highly contested Republican primary in August, one that had him on the defensive after his arrest for a felony charge of impersonating an officer.
Since then, the now-suspended Osceola County Commissioner still has been able to attract maximum $1,000 checks from businesses and political action committees, but not as many, and not much else.
His latest campaign financial reports show he picked up $9,200 in the two weeks leading up to Sept. 18, and was holding $25,881 in the bank on that date. His latest donations included seven $1,000 checks and seven other donations.
Cady, meanwhile, has taken in few big checks but has relied on scores of smaller donations. She has raised only $40,000 to date but has spent little of that, and on Sept. 18 she had $26,424 in the bank.
In her latest two-week reporting period, Cady picked up just $1,119. But that came through 55 donations. Though Hawkins has raised six times as much money in the course of his campaign as Cady, she has received more donations, 460, to his 410, through Sept. 18. She’s averaging less than $90 per donation. He is averaging more than $600.
Neither of them spent much in the two-week period prior to Sept. 18. Cady spent a little more than $800, and Hawkins a little less.
Cady is making her second run for HD 42 after losing to Republican Rep. Mike La Rosa in 2018. La Rosa is leaving office because of term limits.
HD 42 represents much of Osceola County, except for a large part Kissimmee, some of northwestern Osceola, plus a large region of eastern Polk County.
Republicans have represented the district for generations. But in recent years, it has dramatically trended toward Democrats, particularly with a rapid migration of Hispanic, mostly Puerto Rican residents. Democrats now hold a 6-point lead in voter registration.