Jay Shooster leads April-May fundraising push for HD 91 with $32K haul

Jay Shooster -- JS
He ended the period with $485K left in his campaign war chest.

Democratic lawyer Jay Shooster outpaced his incumbent Republican opponent in the April-May fundraising stretch for House District 91, with a $32,000 haul.

Most of it came directly from people, the overwhelming majority of whom are South Florida residents.

He also spent $8,500, leaving himself with an imposing $485,000 between his campaign account and political committee, Future Leaders Florida, heading into June.

Shooster received more than 80 personal checks. The biggest was for $5,000 and came from Evan Hubinger, a California-based research scientist and member of the effective altruism movement responsible for a not-insignificant portion of Shooster’s campaign funding.

Senate Democratic Leader-designate Jason Pizzo of Hollywood chipped in $1,000, as did Boca Raton private investor Gary Sugarman.

Outgoing Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg gave $100.

The Florida Democratic Party also contributed $1,500 worth of in-kind aid for staff expenses.

Shooster’s spending covered consulting costs, a P.O. box, business cards, compliance services, credit card-processing fees and other general upkeep costs.

Highland Beach Rep. Peggy Gossett-Seidman, who is running to keep the HD 91 seat she won in 2022, collected $26,500 in April and May, not counting more than $7,400 worth of in-kind aid from the Republican Party of Florida for campaign staff expenses.

She also spent more than $25,000, leaving $47,500 between her campaign account and political committee, Peggy for the People, by June.

Like Shooster, Gossett-Seidman largely tapped individual donors, receiving 40 personal checks ranging from $50 to a $1,000 contribution from Ignacio Zuleta, the founder of for-profit charter school administration company Academica.

Another company of his called School Development HC Finance gave $1,000 as well.

Her biggest single gain was a $3,000 donation from Boca Raton-based Investment Management I LLC.

Firefighters Fact PAC and Florida Professional Fire PC, political committees that give on behalf of (you guessed it) firefighters, gave $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.

Other political committees gave $1,000 apiece, including Heavens to Oceans, residents Alliance, St. Johns Conservative Action and People for Coastal Common Sense, a Jensen Beach-based organization chaired by Michael Millner, who also chairs some committees affiliated with political strategist Anthony Pedicini.

Gossett-Seidman’s spending covered printing, credit card-processing, photography, advertising and costs associated with her May 30 campaign kickoff.

Another Democrat in the race, Michaelangelo Hamilton, has been largely inactive fundraising-wise. Since filing for the race in January, he’s added just $200 to his campaign account, all of which he spent before March 31.

Gossett-Seidman and Shooster have both qualified for the HD 91 contest. As of 11 a.m. Thursday — one day and one hour before the deadline closes — Hamilton has not.

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.

The Primary election is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.

Candidates faced a Wednesday deadline to report all campaign finance activity through March 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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