Eunic Ortiz raises $40K in first week running for SD 24
Eunic Ortiz lines up some solid Democratic endorsements.

Ortiz is running for the seat held by term-limited Sen. Jeff Brandes.

St. Petersburg Democrat Eunic Ortiz raised nearly $40,000 in her first week running for Pinellas County-based Senate District 24.

Ortiz’s first campaign finance report shows $39,778 raised for the eight days she was a candidate in June. The money came in across 270 contributions, mostly in small dollar amounts from donors across the country. The report also lists 16 checks for $1,000, the maximum allowable contribution for state legislative races.

That set includes St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice and two political committees tied to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where Ortiz works as the national political communications director.

Ortiz’s report showed $1,247 in spending, all of it on credit card processing fees. She entered July with $38,530 on hand. Ortiz also recently launched an affiliated political committee named Together United for Florida. It listed $100 on hand in its initial report.

“The overwhelming amount of support for our movement shows people are ready for change in District 24. I am so motivated by the energy shown by our supporters,” Ortiz said in news release.

“Across the district, necessary conversations are being had on the exponential rise in red tide, infrastructure, affordable housing, and access to good paying jobs. Conversations have to be followed by action and longterm solutions. This is only possible through leadership in Florida that will prioritize advocating for all people, not just a select few.

“I have been on the side of the people throughout my career and will be long after this campaign. Every supporter and their words of encouragement play a role in creating this people-powered campaign — and I know that together, we can win.”

Ortiz, a University of Florida adjunct professor, is currently the only Democrat running for the seat currently held by term-limited Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes.

Also running for the seat is Indian Rocks Beach Republican Rep. Nick DiCeglie, who added $35,000 to war chest last month and entered July with more than $250,000 on hand. Timothy Lewis, a Largo Republican, is also seeking the GOP nomination but has not posted any fundraising.

At one point, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker was thought to be considering a run for the Republican nomination, but he dispelled that rumor Thursday by endorsing DiCeglie for the seat.

SD 24 district covers most of southern Pinellas County and, as currently drawn, has a sizable Republican advantage. Ahead of the 2020 election, Republicans led Democrats in voter registration 37%-33%. The GOP advantage translated to the polls in 2018, when Brandes won reelection over Democrat Lindsay Cross by about 10 points.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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