Tracie Davis gains ground on Reggie Gaffney in May SD 5 money race
Tracie Davis still lags behind Reggie Gaffney in fundraising.

Davis Gaffney
A Republican has qualified for the ballot, closing this Primary.

Rep. Tracie Davis still faces a money deficit against Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney in the Senate District 5 Primary, but she outraised her Democratic rival in May and made up ground in cash-on-hand.

But is the fundraising surge too little and too late given Gaffney’s early momentum?

The third-term legislator from Duval County raised more than $51,000 between her campaign account and her political committee, Together We Stand, in May. She spent more than $74,000 between the two accounts, meanwhile, and closed the month with approximately $225,000 on hand.

Among Davis’ backers were lawyer Sean Pittman, mayoral candidate Donna Deegan, and former Jacksonville City Council candidate Sunny Gettinger. Political committees associated with Rep. Evan Jenne, as well as pharmacists and mobile home manufacturers, were also among the May contributors.

May’s major expenditures for the Davis effort included “research,” on which she spent $37,600, via Alabama’s Impact Research. An additional $9,000 went to GW Strategies of Miami for finance consulting.

While Davis is making up for lost time fundraising, a function of bans on the practice while the state Legislature is in Session, her Primary opponent is finding new money harder to come by down the stretch.

Gaffney raised just $14,400 between his campaign account and his political committee, Friends of Reggie Gaffney. He spent more than $45,000 in May, a function of his campaign moving into a more active phase.

Leading all Gaffney donors, with a $10,000 contribution, was Jacksonville’s John Baker. Baker usually donates to Republicans, but Gaffney is among those Democrats who work well with Jacksonville business interests.

Gaffney’s spending included almost $22,000 for signs, $4,200 for polling via Mason-Dixon, and roughly $9,000 to CSG, LLC for consulting.

SD 5 is the functional replacement in the new redistricting plan for Senate District 6, which Sen. Audrey Gibson currently represents. Gibson is term limited and is running for Jacksonville Mayor in the 2023 election.

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. The map includes areas of Jacksonville that were not in the previous Gibson district, including Riverside, Avondale and Fairfax areas on Jacksonville’s Westside.

Despite the structural disadvantage, Republican Binod Kumar has been a filed candidate for a number of months, and April saw his first and last financial activity, as he put $100 into his account.

Called Monday morning to see if he intended to qualify for the election, Kumar texted us back to see he had filed qualifying paperwork, a decision that will close the Democratic Primary.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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