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Republican Senate leaders raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in run up to primary elections

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Top Senate Republicans raised brought in big hauls through their political committees over the past two weeks according to newly filed finance reports.

Between Aug. 13 and Aug. 25, Fort Meyers Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto brought in $142,500 through her “Protect Florida Families” committee, including $50,000 checks from Trilby Sen. Wilton Simpson’s “Jobs for Florida” committee and Sen. Bill Galvano’s “Innovate Florida” committee.

Benacquisto’s PAC contributed $200,000 of its balance to “Truth Matters Inc.,” the committee behind ads attacking her primary opponent Jason Maughan in the SD 27 race, leaving Protect Florida Families with about $166,000 on hand.

Simpson’s committee also broke the six-figure mark with $185,500 in contributions during the two-week reporting period. Among his donors were the Associated Industries of Florida, which gave $130,000, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which gave $35,000.

The future Senate President had about $771,000 on hand in his committee Aug. 25, while Senate Majority Leader and fellow future Senate President Bill Galvano had about $885,000 in the bank.

The $132,500 in contributions on Galvano’s report came in through 21 checks, including two from Disney that combined to $35,000. MCNA Health Care Holdings chipped in $25,000, while lobbyist Ron Book gave $10,000.

Incoming Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala bested them all with $207,750 in contributions to his “Florida Leadership Committee.” The Clearwater Republican’s top donor was 2022-2024 House Speaker hopeful Randy Fine, who gave $36,000 through his committee, “Foundation for our Children’s Future.” Former House Speaker Will Weatherford’s PAC, “Committee for a Stronger Florida,” also chipped in $25,000.

FLC finished the reporting period with a little over $2 million on hand.

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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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