Chip LaMarca winning money race, turning on spending in June for re-election

Chip LaMarca
Representative's vote for abortion ban could open up new line of attack for rematch with pro-abortion rights candidate.

Rep. Chip LaMarca’s June fundraising haul was his biggest since April, while his June spending shows he’s turning on the spigots — spending more last month than any other during this election cycle.

The Lighthouse Point businessman, who is the only Republican lawmaker whose district is entirely contained within blue Broward County, raised a total of $49,000 in June, boosted chiefly by real estate interests. And he spent $18,211 last month — more than double the expenditures of his previous highest-spending month when he disbursed $8,118 in November.

Campaign records also show his repeat rival for the General Election, Democrat Linda Thompson Gonzalez, is ramping up her campaign. She raised more than $13,000, the most since she announced her candidacy for House District 100. She also spent more in June than any other month since she announced her candidacy in March, spending nearly $15,000.

Still, LaMarca’s campaign war chest dwarfs Thompson Gonzalez’s. Between his personal account and his political committee, Citizens Helping Improve Policy, the two-term Representative has $371,322 to defend his seat, compared to the $16,212 Thompson Gonzalez has in her campaign account, including a $5,000 loan she made to her campaign.

Campaign reports show LaMarca’s biggest boost came from the real estate sector, including developers and construction, who collectively donated $29,100 to help LaMarca defend his seat. Hudson Capital Group, a Fort Lauderdale real estate developer, gave LaMarca a $25,000 donation, his biggest check of the month.

Lawyers and law firms accounted for his second-biggest classification of his donors, giving $5,000. Political committees that run the gamut, from AT&T to the police union, chipped in a total of $5,000.

His biggest checks went to the CSC Group in Pompano Beach, which received $12,200 for research, consulting and fundraising. LaMarca’s campaign also paid $5,840 to Your Sign Guy FL LLC in Boca Raton for yard signs and flags. Blake MacDiarmid of Miami Beach was also paid $3,500 for campaign consulting for LaMarca.

LaMarca also donated $1,000 to Monica Colucci‘s campaign for Miami-Dade County School Board.

Meanwhile, Thompson Gonzalez’s donor list shows she’s running a grassroots campaign. Out of the 105 June donations to her campaign, just two reached the $1,000 maximum and just one was a political committee. Green Florida PAC, based in Plantation, gave $1,000.

The biggest checks went to two people, Alfredo Olvera of Fort Lauderdale, and Emma Elizabeth Collum of Fort Lauderdale, who each received $4,200 for campaign services and campaign management.

LaMarca beat Thompson Gonzalez by 10 points in the 2020 contest and redistricting shifted the district’s boundaries only slightly. But LaMarca could have a new flank to attack in the blue county.

He voted for legislation (HB 5) that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Now, Thompson Gonzalez, who retired from a decades-long career in federal service, has won the endorsement of Ruth’s List Florida, which is dedicated to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights.

The district that extends roughly from Port Everglades to the Palm Beach County line was called House District 93, but now it’s been renumbered HD 100. The district elected Joe Biden in 2020 by less than one percentage point, according to Matt Isbell of MCI Maps.

The campaign faced a Friday deadline for reporting all campaign financial activity through July 1.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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