Incumbent Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz continues to be the lead fundraiser against former Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison as the pair battle for the Senate District 14 seat.
Cruz collected $36,630 in May between her campaign and affiliated political committee, Building the Bay PC. Harrison, on the other hand, raised $26,710 between his campaign account and affiliated committee, Committee for an Innovative Florida.
As far as total fundraising, Cruz’s campaign has raised $196,864 this election cycle, and her political committee has collected $334,250, providing her with a war chest worth $531,114. Harrison, who entered the race in mid-April, has raised $50,060 via his campaign, and has collected $7,500 from his political committee this election cycle, in addition to $77,312 rolled over from a previous House run in 2018. That brings Harrison’s money pot to $134,871 in his first two months.
Cruz’s campaign account reported about 90 donors last month, including 12 $1,000 donations from contributors like the Realtors Political Advocacy Committee, several property partner companies and Premier Eye Care CEO Lorna Taylor.
Her political committee raised $16,500 in May from six contributors, including $5,000 from Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits and Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath Law Firm.
Cruz’s campaign spent $3,056 this period spread among advertising, processing fees and a $500 donation to the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. Her political committee, on the other hand, dished out $27,212 in May, including $6,100 on research, about $15,000 on communications and consulting services and $3,000 to the Florida Democratic Party.
As for Harrison, his campaign raised $19,210 last month from just under 25 contributors. His campaign reported 17 $1,000 donations from organizations including PCs affiliated with state House Reps. Blaise Ingoglia (Friends of Blaise Ingoglia) and Colleen Burton (Friends of Colleen Burton), as well as PACs including Sunshine State Conservatives, A Stronger Florida and Ethics and Honesty in Government PC.
His affiliated political committee raised $7,500 in the same time period from two donors — $5,000 from brewery owner Ryan Bailey and $2,500 from Florida Manufactured Housing Association.
Harrison kept his spending light, with his campaign dishing out $3,408 in May, primarily on fundraising consulting. His political committee spent $6,500, with $5,000 going to advertising services and the remainder also heading to fundraising consulting.
It’s clear from in-kind contributions that both parties are fighting for this Senate seat. For Cruz, the Democratic Party picked up the bill for $60,386 worth of services in May. Harrison, too, saw the Republican Party provide $30,833 worth of in-kind services last month.
Harrison, who previously served in state House District 63 but was defeated in 2018 by current Rep. Fentrice Driskell, will likely face a tough race against the incumbent, who has held the Senate seat since 2018. Before that, Cruz served in the House from 2010-2018, including as the Minority Leader. Cruz also boasts a strong reputation in Tampa Bay as a cornerstone of the party’s presence.
The district makeup appears to lean slightly Democratic, with 51.8% of the district going to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and 48.2% supporting Donald Trump — a difference of about 10,000 voters.