Tom Keen has raised just under $19K for HD 35 contest

Tom Keen
He's running now in a 3-way Democratic Primary on the ballot Nov. 7.

Veteran and businessman Tom Keen has raised just under $19,000 as he runs again in House District 35.

The Orlando Democrat came just 57 votes short of the Democratic nomination in the district last year. Now he faces Rishi Bagga, who won the Democratic nod last August, and Marucci Guzmán, the Executive Director of Latino Leadership, in a Nov. 7 Democratic Primary.

The winner will advance to a Jan. 16 Special Election.

“My campaign is about meeting every voter at their door and ensuring we sign voters up for Vote-By-Mail (VBM),” Keen said. “I am proud of my supporters who stepped up again to back my campaign. We have more fundraisers and calls ahead — and a lot more neighborhood walks.”

Keen’s haul is on top of a $5,000 loan he chipped in.

Seven donors gave Keen the maximum $1,000 donation. He collected $1,000 from retired Gate Petroleum chairman Herbert Peyton and wife Marci Peyton. The ironworkers Local 808 union also donated a grand.

Keen has opened a political committee, Friends of Tim Keen, but it has reported no financial activity this Special Election cycle.

While the check was for a smaller amount, Keen also notably collected a $500 contribution from Prosperity For America.

Keen is running to succeed Rep. Fred Hawkins, a St. Cloud Republican who resigned to take over as President of South Florida State College.

The last time Keen ran, it ended in dramatic fashion with Bagga’s victory, which came in late as the last of around 10,000 votes were counted.

At the time, Keen had raised nearly $21,000 for the race, and had pulled a $10,000 loan. Bagga had a comparable amount then. But this go-around, both Bagga and Guzmán have raised tens of thousands more.

Hawkins won the November election by about 10 percentage points, as Florida Republicans overperformed statewide. But in the 2020 Presidential Election, nearly 52% of the district’s voters supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump for President.

The state party has announced plans to rally voters during a Presidential Election year in hopes of taking 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.

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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