Senate District 14 candidate Jay Collins is receiving hefty support from GOP leadership as he campaigns against incumbent Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz.
In the most recent campaign finance reports, which span the week of the Primary Election from Aug. 19-26, Collins’ affiliated political committee, Quiet Professionals FL, received $10,000 from House Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan Ávila’s political committee, Fighting for Florida’s Families. In July, Ávila’s committee gave Collins a $20,000 boost — a testament to how much Republicans want this seat.
And that’s not all. In mid-August, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee provided Collins’ campaign $38,100 worth of in-kind contributions. The in-kind donations included $17,500 for campaign consulting services, $9,600 for polling, $6,000 for research and $5,000 for campaign staff.
Overall, Collins’ campaign saw 69 donors in the latest fundraising period, including two $1,000 drops, from Rep. John Snyder’s affiliated political committee and the Florida Natural Gas PC. His committee saw two other donors in addition to Ávila — unsuccessful congressional candidate Jerry Torres, who gave $10,000, and Gardner Asphalt CEO Raymond Hyer, who gave $3,000.
But don’t be mistaken — Democrats aren’t ignoring Cruz.
In the same time frame the Republican Senatorial Committee was contributing services to Collins, the incumbent collected $38,697 worth of in-kind contributions from the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Those gifts included $33,000 worth of polling and research and $5,500 on consulting services.
And the committee hasn’t stopped there. In the most recent period covering late August, the Democratic committee covered $8,278 in costs, including about $6,000 worth of staff payroll and $2,000 in office rent for Cruz.
The competitive spending by both parties shows how vital this Senate seat is.
The pair are in for a tough race, with Cruz boasting a hefty war chest — she’ll start September with $640,309 in available spending money between her campaign account and affiliated political committee, Building The Bay PC. Collins will start the new month with $358,959 between his two fundraising sources.
SD 14 is a blue-leaning seat, but a competitive one. About 51.25% of voters under the new SD 14 lines favored Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election while 47.33% voted for Republican Donald Trump.