Derek Reich reports first dollars raised, but still trails far behind Fiona McFarland

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Reich has been aggressive about raising dollars in June after being the only challenger to qualify against McFarland.

Democrat Derek Reich posted his first fundraising numbers and reported some $8,000 for a Sarasota state House campaign. But while he has raised more this month than state Rep. Fiona McFarland, he remains at a massive cash disadvantage in House District 73.

McFarland reported just $1,126 in new donations in early June, including $500 from the Florida Home Builders Association and a $101 check from an accounting firm run by Republican Party of Florida chair Joe Gruters and prominent GOP treasurer Eric Robinson. Her political committee, Friends of Sarasota, also reported $1,000 in new money, all courtesy of The Vogel Group in Washington.

That small level of activity follows a year and a half of more robust fundraising, which let her start June with six figures in cash on hand.

Reich has been aggressive about raising dollars in June after being the only challenger to qualify against McFarland.

Reich put in $3,000 in candidate loans for the contest. He also reported $4,750 in outside donations to his campaign.

Of that, $1,000 came from Venice retiree Brian Henderson. The Venice Garden of Eden Florist also donated $500 to the campaign, and owners Richard and Patricia Kozlowski each gave $500 as well. But virtually all of Reich’s support comes from individuals in the district or family across the country.

A $1,782 qualifying fee accounts for more than half Reich’s spending to date. Another $500 went campaign software company Numero. He also received $750 worth of in-kind web design services North Port graphic designer Christian Young to get his campaign moving.

He entered the last stretch of June with $6,024 in the bank.

McFarland spent more than she brought in for both her official account and political committee. But she goes into the latter half of June with $97,135 in her campaign account alone.

Besides paying a qualifying fee, she laid down $750 with Data Targeting Research in Gainesville to handle her social media. Her political committee spent $1,000 for consulting services from Sarasota-based Conor Murphy.

Both her official account and committee otherwise spent small amounts on housekeeping including payments to Gruters’ and Robinson’s firm.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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