Jacksonville City Council Member Reggie Gaffney stretched his fundraising lead in February for his Senate campaign.
He was helped by the fact that his principal opponent could not fundraise at all, however.
Gaffney filed in Senate District 6, but is running in what will be the Senate District 5 Democratic Primary under the redistricting maps passed this Legislative Session. He actually spent more than he raised to his Friends of Reggie Gaffney political committee last month.
He raised $15,000 and spent over $16,000 on consultant and legal fees. The committee has nearly $355,000 on hand as of the end of February.
Gaffney raised another $6,600 to his campaign account, where he has roughly $120,000 on hand.
Gaffney sits with roughly $475,000 to deploy and a deep bipartisan network familiar with campaign finance in support, as well as a substantial fundraising lead. But his main opponent, Rep. Tracie Davis, should be expected to gain ground now that the Legislative Session is ending.
She has proven a propensity for strong fundraising months, however, with $115,000 raised last November. Davis and all sitting legislators could not fundraise during the Legislative Session, which is set to end Monday. But she is expected to have strong support from Tallahassee Democrats.
SD 5 is the functional replacement for SD 6, which Sen. Audrey Gibson currently represents. A minority access district under both maps, the new configuration supported Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Andrew Gillum with more than 60% of the vote, which likely means Republicans won’t play in the General Election.
They will, however, play in the Primary. Republican Binod Kumar is still filed and while he technically could close the Primary by qualifying as a candidate in June, he hasn’t shown any real evidence of a campaign thus far, with no fundraising since he filed to run last July.
This election will see Gaffney and Davis work new territory.
The new Senate district stretches into the Riverside, Avondale and Fairfax neighborhoods on Jacksonville’s Westside. These areas previously were allocated to the Republican-performing Senate district in Duval, before becoming increasingly inhospitable to GOP candidates in recent years.