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.