Rep. Tracie Davis was finally allowed to resume fundraising after the Legislative Session ended last month, and even with a limited number of days available in March, she made up ground against her main opponent in the state Senate District 5 race.
Davis, who currently represents House District 13 in Jacksonville, raised more than $31,000 in March. She now has more than $68,000 in her campaign account and more than $171,000 in the Together We Stand political committee.
Among the donors last month was an unusual name for Democratic primaries: Karen Carlucci, the wife of Republican City Councilman Matt Carlucci, donated $500.
The biggest Davis donor by far last month was a political committee. Florida for Everyone gave $10,000 to her PC. This group is funded by the Florida Advancement Project, which is structured as a 501(c)4 nonprofit and does not have to reveal its donors.
Primary opponent Reggie Gaffney, a Jacksonville City Councilman, did not lose much ground, raising over $27,000 between his campaign account and his political committee, Friends of Reggie Gaffney. Between the two accounts, he now has over $500,000 cash on hand, doubling Davis as the campaign season begins in earnest.
The leading donor for Gaffney in March was Blue Diamond Holdings, which donated $10,000. That company is controlled by Jamie Shelton of bestbet, which has backed Gaffney for years.
The current incumbent in this district, Sen. Audrey Gibson, is term limited.
SD 5 is the functional replacement in the new redistricting plan for Senate District 6, which 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 if no candidate from another party qualifies for the ballot. Republican Binod Kumar is still filed in District 6. While he technically could close the Primary by redesignating his campaign and 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.