Jacksonville City Council member Reggie Gaffney, a Democrat in his second term, raised just over $44,000 in September between his campaign account and political committee, Friends of Reggie Gaffney.
Gaffney, who is running to succeed term limited Sen. Audrey Gibson in Senate District 6, has roughly $330,000 raised after just under three months as an active candidate.
The bulk of the September money went to the political committee, which brought in $31,225. But that was less than half of the same account’s August haul. Leading the donors with a $10,000 contribution was Xiao Yang Hongyuan Yan, of the Hans-Mill Corporation, which makes garbage cans in Jacksonville. His listed occupation though is “real estate development.”
Atlanta-based Waterman Acquisition Group was another major donor, but isn’t well-known in Northeast Florida. It gave the committee $5,000, as did two local real estate entities, Premier Coast Realty and Keystone Properties.
Gaffney raised $12,920 in hard money in September, and that report also included donors from outside the area, including Miami developer Roy Norton and Charles Robison, listed as a “trucker” from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Both men gave the maximum $1,000 legally allowed as a contribution to a state candidate’s campaign account.
There was some urgency to Gaffney’s September fundraising, as another major candidate entered the Democratic Primary this month.
Rep. Tracie Davis, who has represented House District 13 since 2016, is positioning herself as a “real Democrat,” ready and willing to stand up to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a not-so-subtle dig at Gaffney, who works across the aisle routinely.
“District 6 needs someone who will deliver jobs and services to Duval County while opposing the dangerous policies and politics of the Governor and the Republicans in Tallahassee,” Davis said. “I’m the only candidate in this race who has done that.”
Senate District 6 is majority Democratic in registration, with 175,091 registered Democrats among its 334,648 registered voters in the 2020 book closing report from the Division of Elections. The district had just 88,518 Republicans.
The district lines could change in redistricting, but SD 6 will likely continue to perform Democratic, and the August Primary will likely decide the winner. A Republican last made the ballot in this district in 2012.
Two other candidates are active. Democrat Brooklyn Owen filed in January and has never reported fundraising activity. Republican Binod Kumar has filed reports that indicate no fundraising since he launched in July.
Gaffney is a good bet to get more face time this week. He will appear with gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist Thursday at a Jacksonville campaign promoting Crist. Incumbent Sen. Gibson will also be there. Expect more information on that event in this week’s Jacksonville Bold.