Florida GOP gives Chris Latvala $40K boost

Democrat Dawn Douglas only managed to raise $1,609 in the same span.

Republican incumbent Chris Latvala continued breaking campaign fundraising records this cycle in the most recent reporting period spanning Oct. 3 through Oct. 16, a report available just days before the November election.

Latvala, who is running for reelection in Florida House District 67, faces Democratic opponent Dawn Douglas.

Latvala brought in $70,100 this period, his highest haul to date. The Florida GOP helped with a $40,000 boost to the candidate’s campaign. Douglas only managed to raise $1,609 in the same span, struggling to keep up with the incumbent’s finance game.

The incumbent also dished out $110,993 in the same report, spending $86,000 on media production and placement as the General Election inches closer. When looking at spending, Douglas’ campaign appears on the decline after only reporting $115 in expenditures — split between an ACT BLUE service fee and postage.

The Democrat spent $4,140 in her largest expenditure report, recorded in the period prior to this one spanning Sept. 19 through Oct. 2.

As for donors, Latvala’s list consists primarily of $500 and $1,000 PAC and business contributions, in addition to the $40,000 boost from the Republican Party of Florida. Donors to Latvala include TECO Energy Inc., Walmart Inc., U.S. Sugar and Marathon Petroleum.

Douglas’ contributors this period consisted of 21 individuals.

With about a week to go until the November election, Latvala has $93,608 cash on hand, and Douglas $6,531.

Throughout the race, Douglas has remained strides behind the incumbent in the finance game.

Latvala’s record haul this period breaks his previous fundraising record, achieved in the report prior, when he raised $57,550. These reports follow a lengthy battle against COVID-19 for the incumbent.

Latvala was in the hospital battling coronavirus during most of the prior 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 is just now able to get back in the campaign and fundraising game, his numbers are particularly impressive and show he has a network of support to help him through this reelection campaign.

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

The district is an even split between parties, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans by just a couple of 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.

Kelly Hayes

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 [email protected].


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