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Debbie Mayfield, Ritch Workman post ho-hum March fundraising figures in SD 17 race

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Republican Reps. Ritch Workman and Debbie Mayfield put up middling fundraising numbers in a March reporting period shortened by a prohibition on accepting contributions during the 2016 Legislative Session, which ended March 11.

Workman, who represents Melbourne in HD 52, reported raising just $5,000 while spending $10,459. Mayfield, from Vero Beach-based HD 52, reported raising $2,075 and spending $12,072.

The two term-limited lawmakers are squaring off in a GOP primary to replace Sen. Thad Altman, who is pursuing a House run after his Senate district was redrawn last year.

The hauls leave Mayfield with $194,666 in cash on hand, while Workman has $94,691 remaining. Overall, Mayfield has raised $216,265, including a $200,000 loan she made to her campaign in December; Workman has raised $272,995.

The GOP field appears to be set in the SD 17 race after former Senate President Mike Haridopolos opted not to run for the seat after floating a bid with local backers and stakeholders in Tallahassee.

Workman and Haridopolos had something of a public falling out over Haridopolos’ behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the district. Workman said the former senator promised to support him in his 2016 run – Haridopolos hosted and spoke at Workman’s campaign kick-off event last year – and later reneged on that promise, even erroneously telling mutual associates Workman would drop out of the race and run for local office.

No Democrat has filed in the GOP-leaning seat, based along the Treasure and Space Coasts of Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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