The candidates running for Florida House District 59, Democrat Andrew Learned and Republican Michael Owen, both set campaign records in the most recent finance period, spanning Oct. 3 through Oct. 16.
Learned saw his highest fundraising period in the most recent reports, raking in $48,066, which includes a $30,000 donation from the Florida Democratic Party. Owen brought in $36,181, making it his third-highest fundraising period behind the last two reports.
Both candidates are amping up for the General Election, just eight days away, by setting spending records in their respective campaigns — Owen dished out $62,790, and Learned $76,412.
Owen spent $40,000 on advertising, and about $21,000 on political consulting. Learned spent about $23,000 on production and printing services, and $35,000 on advertising services, as well as $11,500 on digital services.
In his largest haul to date, Learned saw a little more than 150 donors, made up mostly of individuals and about a dozen political committees and businesses. Learned received $1,000 donations from the Laborers Local Union 517, Vote Vets Federal PAC, the Voice of Florida Business PAC and Floridians for Economic Leadership.
Owen had about 56 contributors this period, nearly all consisting of $500 and $1,000 donations from political committees and businesses. These include donations from the Radiology Political Action Committee, Citizens for Principled Leadership and Americas Export Co.
Following their big spends, Learned is left with about $34,506 cash on hand and Owen $37,067.
While Learned has outraised Owen (the Democrat raised $309,576 to Owen’s $282,108), the Republican has spent more — with the help of $85,900 in self-funding.
Learned did not face a primary challenger, letting him save for the critical stretch nearing the November election. Owen, however, had a costly primary battle.
Owen had a big spending spree leading up to the Aug. 18 primary. While Owen won the GOP Primary Election against Danny Kushmer, he spent nearly $192,000 to do it.
The open race in Florida House District 59 is an important one for both Democrats and Republicans this November.
The seat opened when incumbent Rep. Adam Hattersley opted to run instead for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, which he lost to investigative reporter Alan Cohn in the Aug. 18 Democratic primary.
His departure leaves the door open for Republicans to reclaim the seat Hattersley flipped blue just two years ago. And, it’s a must-win for Democrats looking to retake the Florida House.