Jay Shooster enters 2024 with $378K war chest for HD 91 bid

Jay Shooster -- JS
He received 84 contributions between Oct. 1 and New Year’s Eve. All were personal checks.

Democratic Boca Raton lawyer Jay Shooster closed out the year with $378,000 in campaign cash toward his bid to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman in House District 91.

That included more than $41,000 he raised last quarter between his campaign account and political committee, Future Leaders Florida.

Shooster received 84 contributions between Oct. 1 and New Year’s Eve. All were personal checks. His average donation was $493.

Noteworthy givers included Haseeb Qureshi, a Seattle-based investor, software engineer and former high-stakes poker player who cut Shooster a $6,000 check.

Colorado tech executive Michael Andregg gave $5,000, as did Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical executive Brian Wang.

Shooster spent $21,500 in the fourth quarter of 2023. The majority of it went to consulting firms.

He paid $7,500 to Mercury Public Affairs for “media mail consulting,” $7,000 to Renaissance Capital Strategies for “mail media consulting” and “website” services, and $2,000 to Bluestream Consulting for “compliance services.”

He also spent $1,400 on printed materials and $475 on an event ticket from the Democratic Club of Boca Raton. The rest covered bank fees, credit card-processing fees, legal services and general campaign upkeep costs.

Gossett-Seidman, a media professional and former Highland Beach Commissioner, added $24,500 to her HD 91 defense fund in Q4.

After about $3,100 in spending, she had $49,000 left between her campaign account and political committee, Peggy for the People, heading into 2024.

She received 23 contributions in Q4. Three came from people, the rest came from organizations. Her average donation was $1,065.

Gossett-Seidman accepted $3,500 from the Seminole Tribe of Florida. She received an equal sum from Associated Industries of Florida, whose funding overwhelmingly comes from six companies: Florida Crystals, U.S. Sugar, for-profit hospital operator HCA Healthcare Inc., Florida Power & Light, Walt Disney World and health insurer Florida Blue.

Lakeland-based GMF Steel Group gave $2,000. The Vestcor Group, a multifamily housing developer headquartered in Jacksonville, gave $1,000. So did the company’s Chair, John Rood.

Other $1,000 checks came from security company ADT, Associated Builders and Contractors, Florida Acre, Duke Energy, The Southern Group, Akerman LLP and Faith Family Freedom Coalition, the political committee of Port Orange Rep. Chase Tramont.

All but $100 of Gossett-Seidman’s spending went to SimWins, a Tampa-based marketing, media and political consulting firm whose clients have included Attorney General Ashley Moody and Zephyrhills Sen. Danny Burgess, among many others.

Thus far, Gossett-Seidman has an unobstructed path to the General Election in November. Shooster, meanwhile, will face at least one challenger in Michaelangelo Hamilton, a Boca Raton insurance agent who filed for the HD 91 race this month.

Voters last saw Hamilton’s name on a ballot in 2022, when he placed last in a six-person Democratic Primary for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. He was 22 at the time, three years too young to serve in Congress.

HD 91 covers a southern portion of Palm Beach County including Boca Raton and parts of Highland Beach and West Boca. Previously a dependable Democratic stronghold, the district grew more conservative after redistricting in 2022.

Candidates faced a Jan. 10 deadline to report all campaign finance activity through Dec. 31.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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