Newcomer Bowen Kou adds $1M of his own money in opening month of SD 13 campaign

Kou Bowen
He also added $100K in outside cash.

Supermarket mogul Bowen Kou doesn’t have a website up for his relatively new Senate campaign. His Instagram shows attendance at recent political events, but no mention of his own candidacy.

But he just dropped $1 million of his own money into his Senate District 13 run. He also raised more than $100,000 in outside contributions from across the country.

“I’m running for Florida Senate District 13 to continue to make Florida a beacon of freedom and economic opportunity,” he said in a statement. “Too often, our conservative values have come under attack, so I’m stepping forward to put my name in the ring for Senate District 13 to protect our way of life.”

Born in China, Bowen fled the nation fearing persecution for his Christian faith. In 2011, he founded Fresh International Market, an Asian grocery, in Michigan. Bowen’s campaign said the business employs more than 500 people nationwide, and the company website shows additional locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Texas.

Over 18 days in March, Bowen received 134 different donations from around the country. That included 103 checks for the maximum allowed $1,000, from restaurateurs, retailers and businesses. Donations included $1,000 from Purple Yam, a Winter Garden restaurant registered to Hong Rickett and Xiaohong Zhang that opened in 2021. It’s located in the same Orange County community where Bowen lives.

Other Florida donors include retail executive Jiawei Zhao and supermarket buyer Simon Yao Leung.

His list of donors includes those in the grocery and wholesale foods industry, but also professionals from across the nation listing occupations in law, technology, finance and a host of fields.

Bowen’s presence in the race, and the injection of seven figures into his campaign account so early, proves an interesting development in an already high-profile race. He’s running to succeed Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Lake County Republican who cannot run again thanks to term limits.

This week, Clermont City Councilman Ebo Entsuah, a former legislative aide to now-Gov. Ron DeSantis, filed for the seat. Rep. Keith Truenow, a Tavares Republican serving his second term in the House, launched his campaign for the seat as well.

Both of those candidates have a history of winning elections in Lake County, which makes up a bulk of the Senate district. CJ Blancett, a retired investigator, will also compete in the Republican Primary field.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Billy Billy Bam Bam Bamboozler

    April 6, 2023 at 10:45 am

    Since he’s running GOP, I’d say he was a Chinese spy or Russian asset like Christina Pushaw. Maybe it was him who brought the Trump Virus to Florida.

  • Josh Green

    April 7, 2023 at 10:25 am

    Beacon of Freedom?

Comments are closed.


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