October fundraising numbers show there may be a shift in the tide House District 59.
Incumbent Republican Rep. Ross Spano, who has represented the Hillsborough County district since 2012, has been surpassed in fundraising by Democrat Rena Upshaw-Frazier, who brought in $11,000 last month to bring her on-hand total to $38,525 after just three months in the race.
Upshaw-Frazier amassed the total through 60 contributions, including a $1,000 check from U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham. The Quarles and Brady attorney has also kept spending to a minimum, with only $500 heading out the door last month.
The Stetson School of Law graduate isn’t Spano’s only problem, either. Schoolteacher Golnaz “Naze” Sahebzamani, also a Democrat, has been slowly building up her war chest since filing for the seat in July. After bringing in $2,017 last month she has $16,225 in her campaign account, only $9,000 off Spano’s $25,000 total a full year into his re-election campaign.
Demographics of District 59 make it a competitive seat, especially with 2016 featuring a presidential election. Spano won the seat by just 1,000 votes in his 2012 race against Democrat Gail Gottlieb, though he had the benefit of a $110,000 lead in the money race.
The Democratic Primary between Sahebzamani and Upshaw-Frazier will likely cost them some cash, though as a sitting lawmaker, Spano’s fundraising efforts will have to go on hiatus once the 2016 Legislative Session gets underway in January.
For now, he can at least be grateful he doesn’t have a primary challenger of his own.