Rep. Will Robinson in September wrapped up his strongest fundraising month so far this cycle.
The Bradenton Republican reported $63,975 in new contributions to his campaign in September, most of those rolling in the last two days of the month. The donations make up nearly half the $130,425 raised for his reelection in House District 71.
The hefty influx of dollars came as Robinson held his official campaign kickoff for a third term. The event drew supporters out to Pier 22 in Bradenton on Sept. 29. The following day, Robinson reported 46 separate donations of $1,000 and many other smaller contributions. Notable donors included the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, Client Service Specialists, and Quorum Executive Management.
His fundraising served as a standout in the Sarasota-Bradenton region among those who have reported their numbers for September.
Rep. Fiona McFarland, a Sarasota Republican in neighboring House District 72, pulled in $10,750 for the month, bringing her total for the 2022 cycle to $48.614. McFarland flipped that district from blue to red last cycle with a solid margin of victory close to 10 percentage points. But that came less than three years after Democrat Margaret Good flipped it blue by seven percentage points. That means the district, at least under its pre-redistricting makeup, remains a volatile turf.
Rep. Tommy Gregory, a Sarasota Republican in deep-red House District 73, reported $8,525 in September contributions, raising his total to $48,275. He represents more comfortable terrain and won his 2020 reelection bid with almost 65% of the vote.
Robinson, for his part, won his second term in November with almost 58%, in a district with remarkably similar demographics to District 72. None of the three incumbent Representatives yet faces any filed opposition.
But of course, all three of these districts could change substantially with votes divided between them as the Legislature redistricts all seats ahead of the 2022 elections.
According to the most recent census data, Gregory’s district is among the most overpopulated in the state and will need to shed at least 42,400 constituents in the ongoing reapportionment process.
Meanwhile, both McFarland and Robinson need more constituents. Both HD 72 and 72 are roughly 7,800 people short of the ideal population for Florida House seats. Additionally, the Democrat-leaning House District 70, an open seat vacated by incumbent Michaele Rayner, a St. Petersburg Democrat, needs more than 6,300 residents to balance out.
All those could dramatically impact which races will be the most competitive in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.