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Edward James says his HD 72 July fundraising is No. 1 among all House candidates

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Democrat Edward James says he not only out-raised his opponent, incumbent state Rep. Ray Pilon, last month, but he also raised more than all other candidates for the Florida House.

According to an analysis conducted by James’ finance chairman and campaign treasurer, James’ July campaign finance haul — $26,388, on top of $10,100 that came into a political committee, New Direction Florida, which supports James — is the highest of any House candidate.

With lawmakers are tied up this month redrawing congressional maps in Tallahassee — and therefore prohibited from accepting campaign contributions — James’ advantage over Pilon in particular seems likely to continue, at least for now.

Pilon has raised a healthy $63,770 overall for his re-election bid, but fundraising has been sluggish since the end of regular session in May. The third-term Republican raised just $2,250 last month, leaving him with $47,464 cash on hand overall.

Combined, James’ campaign and the affiliated PAC have $52,367 in cash on hand.

James said he was humbled by the support.

“The number of contributors means more to us than the grand total of contributions because it underscores the fact that many people in HD 72 are ready for a new direction,” James told Florida Politics.

“As a grassroots campaign, we are grateful for all of our support from the $5 checks to the $500 checks. The most exciting aspect of all of this is that we are just getting started.”

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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