Keith Truenow outraised rest of SD 13 field in Q3, but self-funder Bowen Kou is still flush with cash

Truenow Bowen
Ebo Entsuah also has collected nearly $50K for the race.

Rep. Keith Truenow has raised more than $150,000 to run for an open Senate seat. But he still has to deal with Bowen Kou, a Primary opponent with more cash in the bank than any legislative candidate in Florida.

Truenow, a Tavares Republican, reported $64,800 in new contributions from July through September. That brings his total haul to $153,500, most of it still unspent as he runs to succeed retiring Sen. Dennis Baxley in Senate District 13.

But Bowen remains a looming threat. The grocery magnate only collected a bit more than $4,100 in the quarter, but has almost $1.1 million in cash-on-hand. That’s chiefly thanks to $1 million he donated out of pocket early in the campaign.

Another candidate continues to pose a threat as well. Clermont City Councilman Ebo Entsuah, a former congressional aide to Gov. Ron DeSantis, collected more than $15,000 in contributions the last three months and started October with more than $45,000 in cash-on-hand.

The other Republican in the race, C.J. Blancett, did not file a fundraising report before the midnight deadline on Tuesday. Democrat Stephanie Dukes raised no money for her run all quarter.

As far as outside contributions go, that means Truenow has raised more than any candidate in the field, though he also has put $19,500 into his own coffers. His 81 contributions over the quarter include 58 checks for the maximum allowed $1,000.

That includes donations from a number of Tallahassee power players, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and several affiliated political committees. Rep. Jennifer Canady, a Lakeland Republican in line for House Speaker, also directed $1,000 to Truenow through her political committee.

Bowen stepped up spending in the last quarter, dropping more than $48,000 early to get his name in front of voters, in part with billboards along the Florida Turnpike promising to limit the state’s use of toll roads.

He collected four $1,000 donations from around the country, one from Orlando-based restaurant group ZFZ Florida.

Entsuah, for his part, collected another 58 checks over three months, including $1,000 donations for local businesses like Tony Hubbard Realty and the Montrose Street Market.

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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