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Miguel Diaz de la Portilla widens fundraising lead in SD 37

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Miami Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla built on his fundraising lead in the Senate District 37 race against Democratic Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, with another $15,000 in contributions between Aug. 13 and Aug. 25.

The second-term senator took in 16 contributions over the two-week period, including three $1,000 checks from private prison company The GEO Group and its subsidiaries. To date, the campaign has raised $613,810.

The campaign also took in $19,500 in “in kind” support from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, mainly for staffing, and didn’t spend any money during the reporting period, leaving Diaz de la Portilla with about $479,000 on hand.

Rodriguez raised $11,618 during the pre-primary reporting period, including $1,000 from service industry group SEIU Florida.

The income was offset by more than $60,000 in expenditures, $54,000 of which when to Chicago-based Snyder Pickerill Media Group for an ad buy. On Aug. 25, Rodriguez had about $187,000 in his campaign account.

According to district statistics, there are more registered Republicans than Democrats in SD 37, though President Barack Obama won re-election in the district by 7 points. During the same cycle, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson won re-election by 13 points.

Neither Rodriguez nor Diaz de la Portillia faced a primary challenger for the seat, which covers the northernmost stretch of the Miami-Dade coastline.

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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