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Dennis Baxley hauls in nearly $80k in February to kick-start Florida Senate bid

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Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley of Ocala raised $79,500 during the month of February for his bid for the Florida Senate, according to campaign finance reports recently released by the Division of Elections. That brings his war chest to a total of $94,610 overall.

“We are pleased to receive this much support this early,” said Baxley in a statement Monday.

The man who proudly accepts the title of “Father of Stand Your Ground” is an inveterate campaigner, having run and won seven campaigns since 2000. He now gears up for a run in the deeply conservative Senate District 5, currently held by Inverness state Sen. Charlie Dean.

Baxley faces an opponent in fellow House member state Rep. Jimmie Smith. The retired U.S. Army veteran faces long odds against Baxley. Smith raised $10,126 in February, bringing his total to just under $23,000.

Smith’s maxed-out contributors include Wal-Mart, the Fontainebleu Resort in Miami, and Building a Better Economy, a political committee run by former state Rep. Daniel Davis.

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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