House District 3 candidate Mariya Calkins doubled down in March against Primary challengers, collecting more than $18,000 in donations.
A Republican, Calkins is vying to replace outgoing GOP state Rep. Jayer Williamson, who opted not to seek re-election.
She holds a significant financial advantage over other Primary challengers, who to date have raised less than $12,000 in donations. In all, Calkins has amassed more than $160,000 since launching her campaign.
“I’m extremely grateful for all the donations made in support of my campaign,” Calkins said. “The support we are receiving from the citizens of District 3 reinforces my commitment to this race. It would be my great honor to serve and represent the wonderful people of Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties in the Florida House.”
A former legislative aide, Calkins also enjoys a handful of political endorsements. Among them: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and state Reps. Tommy Gregory and Anthony Sabatini. A slew of local leaders have signed off on the candidate too: Santa Rosa County Commission Chair Bob Cole and Milton City Councilwomen Shannon Rice and Shari Sebastiao, among others.
“I endorse Mariya Calkins for Florida State House, District 3,” Gaetz said. “Mariya is a Patriot who will bring our Conservative Northwest Florida values to Tallahassee.”
A USSR native who became a U.S. citizen in 2018, Calkins’ campaign reported raising $13,642 in March. Her political committee pulled in another $5,000.
Robert Orth and Joel Rudman are campaigning for the seat as well, though Orth is the only candidate to report financial contributions — roughly $12,000 as of February. The deadline to report March fundraising numbers is Monday.
While in the USSR, Calkins says “she experienced firsthand the severe restrictions on freedom and personal liberties under the Communist regime.”
HD 3 spans portions of Santa Rosa County and Northern Okaloosa County. Williamson in January announced he will not seek re-election in 2022. The Pensacola native was first elected to the Florida House in 2016.