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Lawrence McClure crosses $100K raised threshold in HD 58 special election

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The two GOP candidates running to replace retired Rep. Dan Raulerson in House District 58 raised a combined $169,000 between Aug. 1 and Sept. 7 according to newly filed campaign finance reports.

Plant City businessman Lawrence McClure, 30, brought in the bulk of the money, with his first campaign finance report showing $107,205 in contributions as well as $39,654 in expenditures, leaving him with $67,550 in the bank.

McClure took in 156 contributions, including several dozen for the campaign maximum of $1,000. The donor roll includes John Geehr, who runs a financial adviser firm in Ponte Vedra, and several checks from people connected to Tampa-based environmental contractor FGS Group.

Expenditures mainly went to Jensen Beach-based Strategic Image Management, which took home $28,321 during the reporting period. Kelsey Newsome got $3,000 for managing the campaign, while Jerad Combee and Jared Nicolette were each paid $2,500 for campaign support.

Fellow Plant City Republican Yvonne Fry, who was the first Republican to enter the race, brought in $61,515 during the reporting period and spent $33,337, leaving her with about $35,000 on hand.

South Florida Baptist Hospital President Karen Kerr, Zymphony Technology Solutions CEO Rick Lott, Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham and Plant City Commissioner Michael Sparkman and his wife were among the donors pitching in with $1,000 checks during the six-week reporting period.

Like McClure, Fry’s main expenditure was a massive payment for campaign consulting. In her case it was $29,526 to Tampa-based Momentum Strategy Group.

The special primary election for the Hillsborough County seat is set for Oct. 10, with the general election to follow on Dec. 19.

Also running for the seat are no party candidate Ahmad Saadaldin, Libertarian Bryan Zemina, and Democrat Jose Vasquez, though none of them have made much progress in the money race.

HD 58 has a Republican lean. Vasquez, the only Democrat to make the general election ballot since the seat was redrawn, got beat by 16 points in his 2016 contest against Raulerson.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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