Bowen Kou drops another $200K into his campaign account

Kou Bowen
Most of the funding came directly out of pocket or from businesses associated with Bowen's grocery chain.

Winter Garden Republican Bowen Kou dropped another $200,000 in personal funds into his Senate campaign. He also raised another nearly $14,000 in contributions.

At this point, the Chinese grocery store mogul has added nearly $1.4 million for his campaign for an open Senate District 13 seat. That includes $1.2 million out of pocket.

Subtracting a substantial investment Bowen already spent on his first-time candidacy, he closed March with $1.13 million still in the bank.

His most prominent opponent, Republican Rep. Keith Truenow, has yet to release fundraising for the first quarter. The sitting lawmaker closed 2023 having raised nearly $201,000, all of it in outside donations. That’s still more than Bowen has reported to date in outside donations.

But at this point, Bowen has collected $196,755 beyond his own contributions, much of it from retail grocers around the country. That includes several $1,000 donations from grocers who appear to be associated with the Fresh International Market chain of Asian groceries that Bowen founded.

Donors include Fresh International Market locations in Schaumberg, Illinois, and two other businesses located at the same address — Fresh International Austin Corp. and Hongkong Market Corp. A Fresh International in Nebraska also gave.

A Fresh World Market in Indiana, New World Market in Illinois, and New Oriental Mart in Michigan are all listed by Fresh International Market as locations in the chain. All gave the maximum $1,000 donation in the first quarter.

Liu Chien Hung, a Texas-based food wholesale manager, also gave $1,000 to Bowen, as did RCH Properties in Indiana and Boyd Development Group in Winter Garden.

The campaign also reported making nearly $2,400 in interest from Fidelity Investments.

The large donations made up the bulk of money in the quarter, through Bowen also reported a series of small donations from individuals in the district from Umatilla to Gotha.

Other Republicans in the race have also filed quarterly reports.

Former Clermont City Councilman Ebo Entsuah, a former congressional aide to now-Gov. Ron DeSantis, raised more than $6,000 in the quarter, bringing his total fundraising to nearly $58,000.

United Conservatives Alliance co-founder CJ Blanchett raised nearly $1,200 in the quarter, and has collected more than $3,000.

Those four Republicans face one another in an August Primary. Democrat Stephanie Dukes awaits in November.

The winner will succeed retiring Sen. Dennis Baxley, a Republican.

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].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704