Republican Jennifer Canady has raised more than $86,000 in her first month running for House District 40.
Canady, a teacher and Lakeland native, is one of three Republicans running for the seat, which is open next year because current Rep. Colleen Burton is hitting term limits. Canady faces Nicholas Poucher and Phillip Walker in the primary.
According to her inaugural report, Canady reeled in $86,500 across 245 contributions last month. Three-quarters of her donors hail from Lakeland, which anchors the district, and nearly nine in 10 were Polk County voters.
“I am grateful and humbled by the generous support I’ve received from the Lakeland community,” Canady said. “This community knows I will fight for our conservative values. I will focus on expanding opportunities in our region. And we must give our kids the education and skills they need to succeed. We’re just getting started, and it’s inspiring to see the enthusiasm and momentum from my friends, neighbors and supporters.”
The campaign touted Canady’s conservative credentials — she’s a lifelong Republican and Second Amendment supporter running on a platform of boosting jobs and keeping taxes low.
Canady is the director of the RISE Institute at Lakeland Christian School, a program that creates hands-on opportunities for students to explore research, innovation, STEM learning and entrepreneurship in the community. She is also involved in statewide politics — she serves on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women and Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission in 2019.
She holds a degree in elementary education from Florida State University and a master’s in special education from the University of South Florida. She and her husband, Charles, attend Covenant Presbyterian Church. They have two daughters.
So far, Canady is the only candidate to announce February fundraising numbers.
Walker, a Lakeland City Commissioner, entered the race in January and showed $10,500 raised in his first month. He started February with $10,391 in the bank. Poucher entered the race last week. His first finance report, covering March, is due in mid-April.
HD 40 has a strong Republican lean. Burton won the district with nearly 57% of the vote last year. However, the district lines — and possibly the district number — will shift ahead of the 2022 election following reapportionment.