Florida Republicans are investing in a first-time candidate who is giving twice-elected Democratic Rep. Dan Daley his first ballot challenge as he seeks re-election to represent thoroughly blue western Broward County.
Republican Jenna Hague had her best fundraising period yet, raising $11,450 between Aug. 27 and Sept. 23 in her bid to represent House District 96. Most of it — $10,000 — came from one source, the Florida House Republican Campaign Committee.
In campaign cash held, the incumbent doesn’t have much of an advantage, though. Between his personal account and political committee, Dan Daley for Florida, Daley holds nearly $18,000, compared to nearly $12,000 in Hague’s election fund.
Her donor list also shows a grassroots campaign that is drawing support from a smattering of professionals, retirees, and a homemaker. Eric Herold, a Coral Springs federal agent, gave $200. Hague also received $100 from Sean Silverman of Davie, who is the Florida regional engagement coordinator with the Republican National Committee, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Daley is spending his proceeds a lot faster, however. Between Aug. 27 and Sept. 23, he raised a total of $26,202 and spent $38,354 in that same period.
His biggest check, $27,934 went to National Campaign Branding in Hollywood for production, printing, media consulting, fundraising expenses and communications. He also paid $2,600 to Serve Florida, a Tallahassee-based political committee chaired by Natalie Kato, a lawyer specializing in government relations and campaign finance.
Hague, who works as a financial controller for a construction company, spent much more modestly — nearly $14,000. Her biggest expense in September was $6,051 she sent to Postcard Mania in Clearwater for printing campaign items. Other big-ticket items include $2,650 to Salvo Today in Plantation for printing voter outreach materials. She sent $762 to Build A Sign in Austin, Texas for printing.
Most of Daley’s donors gave $1,000 or more. The biggest check Daley received in the period between Aug. 23 to Sept. 1 was $2,500 from NBC Universal Media, based in Universal City, California. He also received $1,500 from RaceTrac, an Atlanta, Georgia gasoline company, and another $1,500 from Florida Manufactured Housing, based in Tallahassee.
He received political committee donations from a variety of interests, such as sugar, tobacco, longshoremen, and firefighters. Medical interests, however, accounted for most of Daley’s contributions from a single sector, with five donations adding up to $4,500.
Daley first won his seat in a Special Election in February 2019 when Jared Moskowitz resigned the seat to become the state’s director of the Division of Emergency Management. Daley then won his first full term unopposed in 2020.
The decennial redistricting renumbered Daley’s district from 97 to 96. Its borders shifted south, extending to the Miami-Dade County line. It now hugs the Sawgrass Expressway, including parts of Coral Springs, Sunrise, Tamarac and the Everglades.
An analysis of the district’s voters show that the shift decreased the number of Democratic voters, but not decisively. Matt Isbell, an election data expert, found that President Joe Biden won the district by 31 percentage points, compared to the +36 support the President received in the previous district that elected Daley.