Charles Hart swamps opponents in latest HD 39 fundraising

Charles Hart
In HD 39, in the Apopka region, campaign fundraising is surging for Orange County Republican Chair Hart.

Orange County Republican Party Chair Charles Hart has continued to dominate campaign fundraising since he filed in late May to run for the open seat for House District 39.

Hart’s campaign reported picking up $17,050 in the two-week reporting period that ended July 1. That gave him about $27,000 picked up in June after collecting $32,000 in May.

The newly drawn HD 39 covers northwestern Orange County and part of southwestern Seminole. There is no incumbent.

Before he got in, Apopka City Commissioner Doug Bankson had dominated the field there in fundraising. But Bankson managed just $1,125 in the latest report and just over $4,000 for the month of June, after getting just over $4,000 in May.

Still, Bankson’s campaign continues to hold the field’s biggest bankroll, having raised $73,641 to date, and spending little. The campaign entered July with about $65,000 cash on hand, headed for a three-way Republican Primary Election in August.

He also has another $4,100 in an independent political committee, Life and Liberty. Yet it, too, has shown little activity in recent reports.

Hart, a lawyer from Apopka, now has collected $59,340 in less than six weeks. His latest haul came from 34 contributions, including 11 for the maximum $1,000. His campaign also spent $11,163 in the last two weeks of June, after spending $10,000 in early June, mostly on consulting and campaign signs. So he entered July with about $39,000 in the bank.

The third Republican, activist Randy Ross of Orlando, raised $1,775 in the latest reporting period and has raised about $7,700 in his six weeks on the trail. He entered July with about $4,600 in the bank.

The Democratic nomination is already decided. Tiffany Hughes of Longwood emerged as the winner when another Democrat dropped out during qualifying week. In the latest period, she raised $5,527. To date, her campaign has collected $61,273, including a $10,000 loan from herself. Her campaign has spent about $12,000, mostly on printed campaign materials, so she entered July with about $49,000 in the bank.

HD 39 includes Apopka, part of Winter Garden, parts of Altamonte Springs and Longwood, and the Wekiva Springs area.

Results of the past couple of General Elections suggest the district is pretty evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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