First-term Rep. Mike Clelland nets $43K in 3Q, first Democratic incumbent to crack $100K

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First-term Rep. Mike Clelland today posted more than $43,000 in third quarter fundraising, making him the first House Democratic incumbent to crack the $100,000 mark.

Clelland is running keep his House District 29 seat, which covers much of Seminole county, and the cities of Lake Mary, Longwood and parts of Sanford.

The Maitland Democrat collected $43,353 from July 1 to Sept. 30, according to the Division of Elections, bringing his overall total to $100,134, while spending only just over $4,000. His opponent, Longwood Republican Scott Plakton, has not yet posted updated campaign numbers and sits at just over $37,000 so far.

As a 25-year veteran of the City of Longwood Fire Department, Clelland enjoys the strong endorsement of the first-responder community. In September, over 210 firefighters gave his campaign an average of $67 each, for a total of $7118. Those contributions were a majority of Clelland’s 324 individual donors.

At the same time, Clelland saw solid union support, with $500 checks coming from PACSs Representing Firefighters in Boynton Beach, Hillsborough, North Florida Unified, Boca Raton, Gainesville, Alachua and Seminole Counties among others. He also received $500 checks from The Florida Workers’ Advocates, International Association of Bridge Structural and Ornamental Ironworkers 4, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Unions.

According to Clelland’s campaign, the fundraising strengths are an indication of his “strong, organized and very relevant” campaign, despite GOP accusations that he only won due to the personal and economic issues of former state Sen. Chris Dorworth, his Republican opponent in 2012.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.