National groups pump up Democrats Pasha Baker, Tracey Kagan
Congratulations to Sanford community activist Pasha Baker, who won the House District 28 Democratic primary.

Baker receives more than 3,000 donations in two weeks.

National Democratic organizations tied to ActBlue pumped thousands of small contributions into the Seminole County campaigns of House candidates Pasha Baker and Tracey Kagan.

Both Democrats, running in House Districts 28 and 29 respectively, drew on mostly tiny contributions to keep pace with their Republican incumbent opponents, Rep. David Smith and Rep. Scott Plakon, in the most recent campaign finance reporting period, covering Oct. 3-16.

Baker’s campaign attracted 3,104 contributions in the two-week period, many funneled through ActBlue, the vast majority for $10 or less. She did receive two maximum $1,000 checks, so she pulled in $40,234 during the period.

Baker, of Sanford, spent just $9,000 during the two weeks. So she headed into the stretch run of the contest with $73,000 still in the bank, and more micro contributions pouring in.

She also has an independent political committee called Seminole Forward that spent $37,000, mostly on mailers in mid-October. It had $32,000 in the bank  on Oct. 23.

Smith’s official campaign raised $39,250 during the same period. Most of that came from 31 $1,000 checks, mostly from political action committees and businesses. He received 70 total contributions.

Smith, of Winter Springs, spent about $93,000 during the latest reporting period. His campaign had about $78,000 in the bank on Oct. 16.

Smith also has an independent political committee, Friends of David Smith, which raised about $11,500 in the first three weeks of October. It had about $40,000 in the bank on Oct. 25.

Kagan, of Longwood, picked up 1,168 total contributions during the period of Oct. 3-16, most of them under $10. With five $1,000 checks as well, she reported raising $33,395. Her official campaign had about $61,000 in the bank on Oct. 16.

Her independent committee True Ethics Shape Success picked up $35,000 from the Future Now Fund committee and spent about $25,000. On Oct. 23, the committee had about $33,000 in the bank.

Plakon, of Lake Mary, picked up $54,260 between Oct. 3 and 16, and spent $77,000. His official campaign’s contributions included $10,000 from the Republican Part of Florida and 39 $1,000 checks, among his 63 total contributions.

His Friends of Scott Plakon independent committee reported receiving $10,000 in the first couple of weeks of October and had $15,100 in the bank on Oct. 16. He also has a second committee, Floridians for Prosperity and Economic Liberty. While still officially active, it has been dormant for a while. It has about $3,000.

In the other Seminole County-based House District, incumbent Democratic Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil reported collecting $9,305 for her campaign during the period of Oct. 3-16, and spending about $31,000. She picked up seven $1,000 checks and a total of 71 contributions.

Goff-Marcil, of Maitland, had about $19,000 in the bank on Oct. 16.

Republican former Rep. Bob Cortes, seeking to win a rematch of the 2018 election that cost him the seat, reported raising $32,330 in the period of Oct. 3-16, and spending $56,000. He collected 26 $1,000 checks among 45 total contributions. He also got $12,000 in polling research support from the Republican Party of Florida.

Cortes, of Altamonte Springs, had about $62,000 left in the bank on Oct. 16.

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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