Minardi, a well-known lawyer representing clients on cannabis-related issues, is running for the House seat currently held by Rep. Andrew Learned, who was unable to fundraise last month during the 2021 Legislative Session.
The Republican candidate had 14 contributors in April, including three $1,000 donations from consultant Chip Case, Dr. Jose Garcia and accountant Yasmina Novo. He also received a $200 donation from Medical United LLC.
Minardi spent $218 on processing fees this past month, leaving him with $5,182 going into May.
Learned, while unable to fundraise in April because of rules prohibiting state lawmakers from doing so during Legislative Session, did spend $280, also on processing fees.
The incumbent currently has $16,929 going into May, having raised $19,756 since launching his reelection campaign and spending $2,827.
Learned will be hosting a 2022 reelection campaign kick off event on May 26 at Winthrop Town Center.
So far, Minardi is the only Republican in the race to challenge Learned, a moderate Democrat.
Minardi has made a name for himself in Florida as a major proponent for legalized cannabis and intends to run on a pro-pot agenda. He’s the man behind the Sensible Florida ballot initiative that failed to make the ballot in 2020.
Learned won the HD 59 race last year, taking over for Adam Hattersley, who’s also a Democrat and ran unsuccessfully for Congress. Before Hattersley, the district was held by Republicans for years, including by former U.S. Rep. Ross Spano.
Reapportionment ahead of the 2022 election could skew the now purple district back into a Republican advantage, though significant changes aren’t guaranteed.