The end of the 2016 legislative session last month can only mean one thing — election season is coming.
Campaign finance reports were due to the state on Monday. The March fundraising reports show that more than two dozen candidates for the Florida House have more than $100,000 in cash on hand, and several candidates raised upwards of $200,000 since getting in the race.
The fundraising totals were compiled by On 3 Public Relations.
House District 52 — Republican Brian Hodgers has built up quite the war chest since he got in the House District 52 race a year ago. Hodgers has raised $319,695 since March 2015. The Melbourne businessman raised $5,100 last month, and ended the one-month fundraising period with $343,064 cash on hand. He has loaned his campaign $40,000.
All that money might be a necessary precaution. Three other Republicans have thrown their hat in the race to replace Rep. Ritch Workman in the Florida House.
Sen. Thad Altman has filed to run for the House seat. Altman raised no money in March, but has raised $10,000 and loaned his campaign $200 since filing his initial paperwork in July. He had $10,025 cash on hand at the end of the fundraising period. Altman can’t run for re-election in the Senate because of term limits.
Republican Monique Irene Miller has raised $26,420 since jumping in the race. She raised $200 during the one-month fundraising period, and ended the month with $27,860 cash on hand.
Robert Francis VanVolenburgh has raised $1,240 and loaned his campaign $16,2000 since getting in the HD 52 race. He raised no money in March, and ended the period with $4,194 cash on hand.
House District 9 — Loranne Ausley is no stranger to politics, and her campaign account ledger reflects that. Ausely has raised $227,093 since jumping into the House District 9 race last year. In March, the former state representative raised $21,900. She had $203,071 cash on hand at the end of the one-month fundraising period.
While she has raised substantially more money than Republican Jim Messer, the Tallahassee attorney is holding his own. He has raised $100,578 since filing to run for the seat; and reported raising $9,125 in March. Messer had $85,563 cash on hand at the end of the fundraising period.
Two other Democrats — Arnitta Jane Grice-Walker and Joshua Alexander Johnson — have announced they plan to run for the Tallahassee-area seat.
House District 103 — It’s unlikely Manny Diaz Jr. will face a Republican challenger, but the Hialeah Republican is building up his campaign coffers to prepare for a general election challenge.
State records show Diaz raised $37,450 in March, bringing his fundraising total to $199,200 since announcing he was running for re-election. Diaz finished the one-month fundraising period with $153,691 cash on hand.
Diaz will face Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich in the November general election. Petkovich raised $9,680 in March, bringing her fundraising total to $35,266 since getting in the race. The South Florida attorney ended the fundraising period with $29,169 cash on hand.
Incumbents in three House races have raised more than $200,000 since announcing their decision to run for re-election.
House District 37 — House Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran raised $10,000 in March, bringing his fundraising haul to $290,995 since he filed to run for re-election in 2014. He ended the fundraising period with $142,627 cash on hand.
It’s unlikely Corcoran will be unseated. However, Republican Ronson Hale Biedrzycki has filed to run against the Land O’Lakes Republican. Biedrzycki has raised just $115 since filing.
House District 110 — Rep. Jose Oilva is currently running unopposed, but that isn’t stopping him from raising campaign cash. The Miami Lakes Republican raised $500 in March, which boosted his fundraising totals to $208,670. He ended the fundraising period with $159,947 cash on hand.
House District 116 — Rep. Jose Felix Diaz didn’t raise any money in March, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t building up a good size war chest. The Miami-Dade Republican has raised $215,000 since December 2014. He finished the March fundraising period with $147,149 cash on hand.
State records show that at least 27 candidates have more than $100,000 cash on hand.
Those candidates Rep. Jeanette Nunez, who has $132,955 cash on hand and who is running unopposed; Rep. Holly Raschein, who has $126,905 cash on hand and who will face either Democrat Kevin Diaz or Artie Leichner in November; and Rep. David Richardson, who has $168,955 cash on hand and has two primary challengers — Democrats Reinaldo Valdes and Deede Weithorn.
Also of note: Republican William Richard McBride, House District 27 candidate, ended the fundraising period with $259,000 cash on hand. That sum includes a $250,000 loan. McBride has raised $9,000 since getting in the race; while Republican opponent Zenaida Denizac has raised $5,950.