Carolina Amesty edges out opponent Leonard Spencer in latest HD 45 fundraising period
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Carolina Amesty
Amesty raised $5.3K more than Spencer in the April-May period.

In the race for the Disney-centered House District 45, incumbent Republican Rep. Carolina Amesty raised around $5,000 more than her opponent, Democrat Leonard Spencer, in the latest campaign period.

Amesty, who won the HD 45 seat in 2022, raised $6,100 via her campaign account in the April-May period, according to the latest report. Donations from the period include max donations of $1,000 from GrayRobinson, a lobbying firm led by former House Speaker Dean Cannon. Amesty also received a max donation from Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters.

Her political committee, Friends of Carolina Amesty, raised more than $10,000 during the April-May period, totaling just over $16,000 raised between her official campaign and committee.

Spence, her Democratic opponent, raised just over $11,000 during the April-May period. His campaign also reported nearly $2,300 raised in the first two weeks of June. Amesty’s campaign and committee have not yet reported official fundraising numbers for that period.

Spencer filed for the HD 45 race in May. He served as a Disney executive for nearly 16 years, with seven of those years focused on diversity and sustainability. Spencer also worked with other Fortune 500 companies on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), according to his website. That résumé comes in direct contrast with recent Florida Republican actions, particularly Gov. Ron DeSantis’ lawsuits against Disney and recent slashing of DEI programs in Florida colleges and universities.

Last year, Amesty showed support for DeSantis’ attempted takeover of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District after former Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against the Parental Rights in Education Law, which resulted in a series of recently settled lawsuits between DeSantis’s allies and Walt Disney World.

So far, Spencer has raised more than $13,000 for his official campaign overall. Donors contributing the $1,000 maximum include former Orlando City Council member Ernest Page. Spencer has spent just over $4,200, leaving about $9,100 in the bank. Amesty, meanwhile, holds just over $54,000 between her campaign and PC as of her latest report.

While HD 45 favored President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, Amesty won the district in 2022 with 53% of the vote. The district that year showed Republican leaning overall, with DeSantis winning 54% support and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio winning nearly 52% of the vote.

Robert Haughn

Robert Haughn is a University of Central Florida student studying print journalism. He has covered UCF news for the school’s paper, NSM Today, since 2022, most recently as the beat reporter for campus government, covering affairs in Student Government, the Board of Trustees and the Office of the President, and won the NSM Editor’s award for News Editor’s Pick. You can reach Robert at [email protected] and at Twitter/X @rhaughn361.


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