Fresh out of the gate, Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy‘s campaign has staked a strong early lead in the race to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
Bracy, of Ocoee, reported raising nearly $166,000 in the few weeks after his entrance into the race in late May, according to new campaign finance reports posted by the Federal Election Commission covering the second quarter of 2021.
That topped two other high-profile Democratic candidates who entered the contest at about the same time, shortly after Demings announced she would run for the U.S. Senate rather than for a fourth term representing western Orange County residents in CD 10.
Former State Attorney Aramis Ayala of Windermere raised nearly $74,000.
Civil rights lawyer Natalie Jackson of Orlando raised $51,000.
Six other candidates have filed to run there including Democrat Terence Gray, a prominent Orlando pastor who entered in July. But the FEC had posted no campaign finance activity for any of them by Friday morning.
Also running are Democrats Teresa Tachon of Orlando and Jack Joseph Achenbach of Orlando, Republicans Carter Morgan of Orlando, Willie Montague of Orlando, and Angela Walls-Windhauser of Winter Garden, and independent candidate Jason Kyle Holic of Orlando.
The district provides Democrats a strong advantage in voter registration.
Bracy, in his second term as a state Senator after serving in the Florida House, picked up $15,000 in political action committee money. That included four-figure checks from lobbying giant GrayRobinson, NextEra Energy, U.S. Sugar, Washington-based InsurPAC, and Sanford-based Williams PAC. Beyond that, he received more than $150,000 in campaign donations from individuals.
“I’m proud that 90% of our funds were raised here in Florida and that we are setting the early pace for generating support in this race,” Bracy said in a news release. “There is a long way to go but I am proud that we are off to such a strong start.”
Bracy entered July with $154,000 still in the bank.
“The stakes of this election are immense and I am 100% focused on continuing the good work of Congresswoman Demings by delivering real results for the people of the district,” Bracy said. “I am grateful for the early support my campaign has generated. It is based on my record of getting things done on police reform, education funding, and job creation in this district. It is a record that none of my opponents can match.”
Ayala staked an initial $2,900 of her own money to start her campaign, and then raised almost $71,000 through individuals’ donations.
She entered July with just under $71,000 in the bank.
Jackson announced her campaign finance numbers earlier this week. A Navy veteran, she picked up $2,500 from the VoteVets PAC, and nearly $49,000 in contributions from individuals.