Last call: Get your checkbooks ready for pre-Session legislative fundraisers

Writing a check
Last call to whip out the checkbook!

It’s tick-tock time for fundraising!

Get your checkbooks ready, PAC chairs and Tallahassee uber-lobbyists, there are a handful of fundraisers for legislative candidates planned for Monday, the last day they can raise money ahead of the 60-day Legislative Session.



Rep. Ralph Massullo is gearing up for a potential showdown with fellow Rep. Blaise Ingoglia in the Republican Primary for Senate District 10, if draft maps recently released by the Senate Reapportionment Committee are approved. He opened his Senate campaign with a $1.5 million candidate loan to get on even footing in the money race. Unlike Ingoglia, who cannot run again due to term limits, Massullo can serve another two years in the House.


Rep. Brad Drake is term-limited and cannot run for reelection in 2022, and he has not filed paperwork to seek a different office. Still, he will be holding a fundraiser to benefit his 67Florida political committee, which he has used in past cycles to support the Republican legislative campaigns. The committee started the year with about $94,000 in the bank.


House Speaker Chris Sprowls, House Speaker-designate Paul Renner and Rep. Danny Perez and Rep. Sam Garrison will be raising money for House Majority. Renner, a Palm Coast Republican and chair of the powerful rules committee, is set to take over as House Speaker after the 2022 election. Perez, a Miami Republican, and Garrison, a Fleming Island Republican, are in line to become Speaker in 2024 and 2026, respectively. They will only become House Speakers, however, if Republicans hold on to a majority in the House, which is the express goal of the House Majority fund. The GOP currently has a 78-42 advantage over Democrats in the House and is expected to maintain firm control of the chamber after the November elections.


House Democrats will be raising money for their own fund as well. Rep. Ramon Alexander, who is set to become House Democratic Leader after the 2022 election, will be hosting the caucus reception. The House has so far put forward two sets of draft maps — one indicates Democrats could tread water while the opens the door for the party to chip away at the GOP’s substantial advantage in the chamber. The first proposal features 70 districts that went for Donald Trump in 2020 and 50 that went for Joe Biden. The other has 58 Trump districts and 52 where Biden was the preferred candidate.


Rep. Kamia Brown is running for Senate District 11, which is currently predicted to pit her against Rep. Geraldine Thompson in the Democratic Primary. The two are running for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy, who is running for Congress. There are no Republican candidates yet. As of Dec. 31, Brown had raised $53,700 for her campaign and had $33,400 in the bank. Thompson has not yet filed her December report but had raised just $600 by the end of November, which was her second month in the race.


Sen. Lauren Book will be hosting a fundraiser for the Democrats’ primary fundraising vehicle for Senate campaigns. Book took over as Senate Democratic Leader in April after the ouster of Sen. Gary Farmer. She fundraising operation she inherited was in poor shape — the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee had just $155,000 on hand compared to the $4.1 million held by its GOP equivalent, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. There is some optimism that fundraising will improve with Book at the helm.


Hialeah Republican Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. will be raising money for his campaign account and his affiliated political committee, Better Florida Education. Diaz was elected to represent Senate District 36 in 2018 after serving three terms in the House. Currently, he is the only candidate who has filed paperwork to run in the district, which covers part of Miami-Dade County. He had about $56,000 on hand in his campaign account and another $539,000 on hand in his political committee heading into 2022.


Reps. Bryan Avila, Tom Fabricio and Alex Rizo are holding a joint fundraiser on Session’s eve. Avila is running to succeed Rebeca Sosa on the Miami-Dade County Commission and has far outpaced the field in fundraising for that race. Fabricio and Rizo, meanwhile, are running for re-election to the House. Fabricio was elected to represent House District 103 in 2020 and is currently unopposed for re-election. Rizo also a member of the 2020 class, representing House District 110, and is similarly unopposed. Fabricio finished 2021 with $88,000 in his campaign account, while Rizo had $62,000 on hand.


Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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