Rishi Bagga passes $100K milestone ahead of HD 35 Democratic Primary

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He won the Democratic Primary last year by 57 votes. Is he in a stronger position for it?

Rishi Bagga has now collected six figures in his bid for an open seat in House District 35.

The Orlando Democrat’s campaign announced he has surpassed $100,000 in fundraising between his official campaign account and political committee, Friends of Rishi Bagga.

“This milestone stands as a testament to our shared belief in a better Florida. Our campaign envisions a future where common sense prevails over extremism, where our Central Florida community is safer and more prosperous, and where every voice holds significance in the political process,” Bagga said.

“As we approach Election Day, we stand in a position of strength, bolstered by support from Central Florida community leaders and an incredible groundswell of grassroots enthusiasm.”

A breakdown of donations to the campaign and committee was not immediately available.

Bagga remains in a Democratic Primary, scheduled for Nov. 7. The winner will advance to a Jan. 16 Special Election. He will debate Democratic opponents Marucci Guzmán and Tom Keen in an event to be televised on Spectrum News on Oct. 11.

He’s running to succeed former Rep. Fred Hawkins, a St. Cloud Republican who resigned his seat to become President of South Florida State College.

Bagga won the Democratic nomination last year in House District 35 in dramatic fashion, besting Keen by 57 votes out of more than 10,000 cast. He went on to lose to Hawkins, an incumbent, in a seat newly redrawn after a decennial redistricting of legislative seats,

Hawkins won the November election by about 10 percentage points, as Florida Republicans overperformed statewide. In the 2020 Presidential Election, nearly 52% of the district’s voters supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump for President. Democrats hope to rally voters during a Presidential Election year to take the seat.

As of book closing for the 2022 elections, the district served as home to 40,746 no-party voters, compared to 40,464 registered Democrats and 37,534 Republicans.

Bagga in June announced he would run for the seat again. He’s proven so far to be a strong fundraiser, raising $36,000 in the first three weeks of the campaign this year.

He continues to stress his backstory as the child of immigrants who lived the American Dream of entrepreneurship in Central Florida.

He has picked up endorsements from former Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and from The Orange County Classroom Teachers Association.

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].


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