Democratic Rep. Kamia Brown‘s campaign for the seat opening in Senate District 11 found its keel in September with a significant fundraising effort and the addition of professional consultants — just as serious competition emerged.
Through most of the summer, since Brown first opened her campaign for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy in late May, her campaign foundered. She ran up more than $5,000 in state fines for report filing shortfalls while managing to raise less than $4,000 for her Senate race.
But in September, Brown seems to have righted her ship, just before rival Democratic Rep. Geraldine Thompson filed to challenge her for Bracy’s seat in the 2022 Primary Election.
SD 11 covers most of western Orange County. Thompson had held that seat before Bracy.
In September, Brown raised $17,875, including 16 maximum $1,000 checks from business and labor groups and individual supporters, notably Democratic Sen. Lori Berman of Boynton Beach. At the same time, Brown brought on veteran Orlando political consultant Carl Booth‘s In Touch Strategies to take the helm.
With funds Brown had raised earlier in the year for her previous House District 45 reelection campaign, which was cited for reporting deficiencies, leading to two fines from the Florida Division of Elections, she now has raised $41,800. Her Senate campaign entered October with $33,300 in the bank.
She also has resolved the fines. Earlier this month, the Florida Elections Commission dismissed one case against her that had resulted in a $1,937 fine. She has made arrangements to pay a $3,125 fine in the other case.
Her campaign also announced several endorsements this week, while promising more to come.
“It’s going to get better and better from here,” said Brown’s campaign manager Connor Darwish.
Thompson filed to run Oct. 5, so she has not yet posted any campaign finance reports for her Senate candidacy. Her reelection campaign in House District 44 had about $8,700 in the bank at the end of September.
Thompson also faces a Florida Division of Elections fine, of $1,837, for failing to file a treasurer’s report earlier this year in her House reelection campaign.
In the only other contested Senate election in Central Florida, Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia reported raising $15,800 in September for his challenge in Senate District 13, covering parts of northern and eastern Orange County. That brought Plasencia’s fundraising total to $68,000, and he entered October with about $30,000 in the bank.
SD 13 Democratic incumbent Sen. Linda Stewart picked up just $2,000 in September, and she has fallen behind Plasencia in overall fundraising, having brought in a total of $53,250. Yet her campaign has not been spending as much as Plasencia’s, so she entered October with more cash on hand, about $46,000.
In Senate District 9, covering Seminole County and parts of southern Volusia County, Republican Sen. Jason Brodeur reported picking up $4,750 in September. He has raised $70,300 overall, and had about $30,000 in the bank after September. He does not have a challenger yet.
In Senate District 15, covering southern Orange County and Osceola County, Democratic Sen. Victor Torres reported raising $3,750 in September. He has raised $35,400 overall and had about $35,000 in the bank heading into October. He also has no challenger yet.
In Senate District 17, covering Indian River County and southern Brevard County, Republican Sen. Debbie Mayfield reported raising $30,810 in September. She has raised $116,837 overall and had about $94,000 in the bank at the beginning of October. She also has no challenger.