Florida GOP leadership continues to rally behind Jay Collins with new fundraiser
Jay Collins shifts gears to take on Janet Cruz.

jay collins
Republican leadership hopes to win the seat held by Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz.

Senate President Designate Kathleen Passidomo is set to host a fundraiser for Senate District 14 candidate Jay Collins this Thursday as Republican leadership continues to rally behind the political newcomer in hopes of winning the seat held by Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz.

The host committee of Collins’ fundraiser is packed with members of Florida’s Republican leadership and a slew of GOP Senators, including CFO Jimmy Patronis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Speaker-designate Paul Renner. The Florida Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Florida are also named as part of the host committee.

The event is set to begin at 6 p.m. at The Vault in Tampa.

The fundraiser comes as the race between Collins and Cruz heats up. Both candidates have recently released ads promoting their respective campaigns across the Tampa Bay media market.

Cruz’s ad, “That’s What I Do,” highlights her life in Tampa and priorities in the Legislature — including protecting abortion rights and creating jobs. Collins’ ad, “A Better Life,” details his history of service as a Green Beret.

In the latest campaign fundraising reports released last week, Collins reported hefty support from GOP leadership. His 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.

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 two are in for a tough race, with Cruz boasting a hefty war chest. She started September with $640,309 in available spending money between her campaign account and affiliated political committee, Building The Bay PC. Collins began the 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.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


4 comments

  • Trevor Morris

    September 12, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    The Republican Party of Florida is perhaps one of the most corrupt, even criminal, organizations in the country. From illegally inserting “ghost” candidates into races, to doing anything and everything FPL asked them to do, to abdicating their constitutional responsibility to redistrict the state simply because the dictatorial governor asked them to these guys can’t be trusted with coffee money much less the state of Florida. Janet Cruz has been a great champion of freedom and should be reelected. The State Senate needs fewer fascists, not more.

  • Avy115

    September 12, 2022 at 3:55 pm

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  • Karen

    September 13, 2022 at 7:01 am

    Hey Trevor,
    The definition of fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
    Exactly what the Democratic Party is today.!

  • FloridaGuy

    September 25, 2022 at 12:06 am

    Very fitting that the MAGA that responded here is named Karen. Very on brand for extremist radical right wing republicans to send a Karen to ask for the manager in the comments section.

Comments are closed.


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