Ashley Gantt again drubs HD 109 incumbent in fundraising, spending war
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Ashley Gantt Website 2
Both candidates spent more in June than in any other month this campaign cycle.

For the fifth consecutive month and with a Primary collision fast approaching, Democratic lawyer Ashley Gantt again outpaced incumbent Democratic Rep. James Bush III in fundraising and spending for House District 109.

Gantt spent a campaign-high $18,000 in June. While $13,000 of that went to consulting firms MDW Communications in Plantation and Edge Communications in Miami, she poured a healthy sum — about $2,000 — into buying flyers and yard signs to spread throughout the district.

She also paid $400 for tickets to a Florida AFL-CIO event. Gantt and her opponent’s expenditure pages indicate both are courting the group’s endorsement.

More than 90 people donated to Gantt’s campaign last month through checks of between $10 and $1,000. Most checks were for $100 or less.

Just two contributions Gantt took in weren’t by personal check: $500 from Louisiana-headquartered government relations firm Garner Ridge Partners and $100 from Miami Lakes accounting firm D Moss & Associates.

As of June 30, Gantt’s campaign had raised nearly $67,000 since filing in March. Of that, she had $34,000 remaining.

Bush, meanwhile, took in just $2,500 in yet another lackluster month of fundraising. Since he began collecting money for his re-election bid a year ago, he’s only managed to raise a five-figure sum once.

Thanks to limited spending on his part, however, his war chest still holds nearly $36,000.

June was Bush’s biggest month of spending yet this cycle. He paid out more than $5,000. Of that, $3,000 went to Willis Howard, a political strategist with a prolific background of work in North Miami Beach who last year ran the successful campaign of U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.

Bush also spent $1,300 on canvassing and $200 on a Florida AFL-CIO event.

His modest gains last month came through three donations, including a $1,000 check from limited liability company Lavi Touring — misspelled as “Levi Touring” on Bush’s contributions ledger — and $500 from Poe Cleaning Services. Both are based in Sunny Isles Beach.

Bush’s campaign cited a second $1,000 donation from a company called “Se Lavi Productions LLC” that operates out of the same building as Lavi Touring, but no record of such a company exists on the Florida Division of Corporations website.

HD 109 is a Democratic-leaning district spanning north-central Miami-Dade County, including parts of Miami, Hialeah, Miami Lakes, North Miami, and Opa-locka.

Since no Republican is running in the district, whoever wins the Aug. 23 Democratic Primary will take the HD 109 seat.

Candidates faced a July 8 deadline to report all campaign finance activity through the end of June.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at Jess[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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