Republican Joel Rudman led the House District 3 field in fundraising for the third month in a row, according to recently filed campaign finance reports.
Rudman, a Navarre physician, entered the race for HD 3 in March. He is seeking the GOP nomination to replace exiting Rep. Jayer Williamson, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.
Fundraising reports show Rudman raised another $24,205 for his campaign last month, bringing his overall total to $168,279 through three months since campaigning for the seat. His total includes $80,000 in candidate loans and $88,279 from donors. He had $137,480 on hand heading into June.
He also outraised the two other Republicans in the primary for the third month running, with his May total more than doubling the combined efforts of Mariya Calkins and Robert Orth. The May numbers also push him ahead of Calkins in money raised and cash on hand.
Calkins has raised $159,891 since entering the race in early January, shortly after Williamson’s announcement. Her total includes $77,777 in candidate loans and she started the month with $103,523 in the bank.
Orth added $2,625 in May and has raised $23,095 since entering the race on Valentine’s Day. His total includes $10,000 in loans. According to his most recent finance report, his campaign is about $3,000 in the red.
However, Calkins also has $41,477 on hand in her political committee, Friends of Mariya Calkins. When that money is included, she retains the lead in overall fundraising. Neither Orth nor Rudman have filed solicitation forms indicating they have political committees.
Despite Calkins’ narrow edge, Rudman’s campaign is touting its momentum in the money race — in addition to leading the pack for three months, Rudman has logged 395 donations, which is 190 more than Calkins and Orth combined. The candidate has also been holding non-traditional fundraisers, such as an event last week that saw him take the stage and “rock the house” at Stripes Pub and Grill in Navarre.
“It’s a testimony to my message of freedom and personal liberty. The biggest cheer I got from the stage Thursday night was when I reminded them how I testified at the school board meeting against masking. Voters know I will risk my career, put my credentials on the line, to protect their rights from the woke mob,” Rudman said.
HD 3 spans portions of Santa Rosa County and Northern Okaloosa County and is a reliably Republican seat. No Democrats have filed to run for the seat. Write-in candidate Sandra Maddox of Milton has qualified for the race, however, closing off the Primary to non-Republican voters.