Rene Plasencia collected nearly $32,000 in a day
Rene Plasencia

Whoever he's running against, the Orlando Republican will have some money.

It remains unclear who Rep. Rene Plasencia will face in a Senate race next year. But he just pulled in nearly $32,000 to use in the campaign.

The Orlando Republican reported $31,860 in contributions last month, all raised in a single day before the Legislative Session began. Subtract minimal campaign expenses to date and he wrapped the month with $30,755 in cash on hand.

Plasencia filed to run for a seat in the upper chamber in January. For the moment, that means he’s set to challenge incumbent Sen. Linda Stewart, an Orlando Democrat. He can’t seek another term in the House this cycle thanks to term limits. But he made clear when he filed that he doesn’t know if the redistricting process will leave him and Stewart in the same district.

“I didn’t necessarily file to run against Linda,” he told Florida Politics at the time. “If we are, then so be it.”

For what it’s worth, he’s still trailing Stewart by a little in cash, despite having a strong March. Stewart entered April with $40,593 in the bank.

Regardless of what occurs, he’s a Senate District 13 candidate now, and one with growing support. While he reported just $2,000 in donations in February, half of that from his Commitment to Opportunity, Action and Community Health (COACH) committee, he reported a range of financial support in his latest filing.

A number of industry political committees made $1,000 donations, including the Associated Builders and Contractors PAC, Committee of Florida Agents, Florida Manufactured Housing Association and Florida Pharmacist Political Committee. So did Associated Industries of Florida.

Shawn Foster’s Florida Coalition for Safe Communities committee also donated $1,000, as did David Santiago’s Floridians for Opportunity.

Everglades Management, ABC Liquor and the Arazoza Brothers were among the out-of-district businesses chipping $1,000 checks to Plasencia’s coffers.

Major individual donors included Sorrento government relations consultant Jacob Horner, Tampa consultant Renee Vaughn, Jacksonville University President Tim Cost, and Winter Park beverage distributor Jess Bailes.

In total, the campaign cashed 26 checks worth $1,000 and eight worth half that.

As for where it’s going, Plasencia has done little hiring to date but did pay $500 to Orlando-based Capital Marketing Strategies, and listed the expense as campaign staffing.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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