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Republican committees post 6-figure hauls in first days of 2016

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Lawmakers could only raise money for the first 11 days of the year, but that didn’t stop some of the top Republicans in Legislature the posting six-figure hauls to start the year.

Campaign and committee finance reports aren’t due until Wednesday, though Sen. Bill Galvano’s political committee, Innovate Florida, leads early filers after posting $216,000 raised in January. That haul came across in just 31 contributions, including three checks for $25,000 from the Florida Medical Association PAC, optometry group OD-EYEPAC, and Costa Farms.

After $19,000 in January expenditures, the Bradenton Republican’s committee was left with about $1.23 million in the bank.

Brandon Sen. Tom Lee came in just behind Galvano with $212,700 in January contributions to his committee, The Conservative. His total included five $25,000 checks, with MCNA Health Care and multibillionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones each contributing at that level alongside FMA. Costa Farms also made the list with a $10,000 check.

Expenditures were minor for the truncated fundraising period, leaving the former Senate President’s committee with nearly $2 million on-hand.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli leads in the other chamber, with $136,000 in committee money last month. His PAC, Growing Florida’s Future, got $25,000 checks from an Associated Industries of Florida committee and from the FMA to bring its total to more than $600,000 on-hand.

Not far behind Crisafulli is the presumptive 2018-20 House Speaker, Rep. Jose Oliva, who raised $135,500 for his Conservative Principles for Florida PAC. Florida Blue topped the donor list at $35,000, followed by Tampa-based real estate company American Investment Holdings, which gave $25,000. Oliva’s committee entered February with about $541,000 on hand.

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Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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