Jen McDonald leads HD 65 in May fundraising, still trails Karen Gonzalez Pittman overall

The district closely resembles former House District 60 represented by Tampa Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo.

Democratic candidate Jen McDonald reported the highest fundraising numbers in May as she campaigns for House District 65. However, Republican Karen Gonzalez Pittman still leads among all the candidates in total fundraising.

McDonald collected $16,860 in May between her campaign account and affiliated political committee, Bright Future Tampa Bay. In the same time frame, Gonzalez Pittman’s campaign raised $15,550. Since each entered the race, Pittman has raised $121,135, and McDonald has collected $97,559.

The candidates are racing to take the competitive Hillsborough County seat, which closely resembles current House District 60 represented by Tampa Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo. The Republican Primary includes Gonzalez Pittman, Jake Hoffman and Michael Minardi, while the Democratic Primary features McDonald and Kelly Lynn Johnson, who has not yet reported any May fundraising.

McDonald’s campaign raised $16,610 in May from 62 contributors, including seven $1,000 donations, one of which was from the political committee affiliated with Rep. BenΒ Diamond, Friends of Ben Diamond. Her political committee raised $250 last month from one individual donor.

As for spending, her campaign dished out $4,233 in May, including $2,000 on communication consulting services and the remainder divided on smaller expenses like processing fees. Her political committee spent $1,250, with $1,000 going to accounting services and the remainder on software.

Gonzalez Pittman’s campaign saw 21 donors, including 12 $1,000 contributions from organizations like Conservative Florida PAC, Racetrac Inc., Floridians for Economic Advancement PAC, as well as from Republican House District 59 candidate Jennifer Wilson.

Gonzalez Pittman spent $8,502, primarily on advertising and consulting services.

The next highest fundraiser was Minardi, who collected $1,655 in May from seven contributors, including $1,000 from Cap Cana Oasis LLC. Last month’s fundraising brings Minardi’s total to $31,425 since he entered the race in April 2021. He spent $14,146 in May on consulting services.

Hoffman collected $1,450 in May from four contributors, bringing his total fundraising to $71,017, which includes $50,000 in self-funding. As for spending, Hoffman reported $13,108 in May expenditures, with the bulk going toward video production, and the remainder on postage and processing fees.

Johnson’s campaign has only reported $31 in total fundraising, having filed finance report waivers the past few months.

The newly drawn HD 65 seat, which covers southern Hillsborough County, has a slight Democratic lean. In 2020, 51.28% of the district went to President Joe Biden, while only 47.19% went to former President Donald Trump.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].

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