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Fundraising reports show Senate rivals Jack Latvala, Joe Negron close as ever

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Early committee finance numbers for Republican Sens. Jack Latvala and Joe Negron show the two rivals for Senate President are as close as ever in fundraising.

Latvala’s outfit, Florida Leadership Committee, entered October with a little more than $1.6 million on-hand, and the committee should get a little boost above that mark once final reports for October are posted. FLC had taken in about $110,000 in contributions through Oct. 26 and had posted $48,452 in expenditures as of Oct. 29, leaving the Clearwater Republican with a net gain of more than $61,000 so far this month.

FLC’s October funding came in through 25 checks, including $10,000 a piece from Disney, the Palm Beach Kennel Club and the Committee for an Affordable Residential Environment. Regular donors Florida Crystals, Dosal Tobacco and Florida Blue sent in $5,000 each this month.

Republican Sen. Charlie Dean’s PAC, the Nature Coast Conservative Coalition, tops the list of October donors so far, though, with $20,000 in contributions.

Expenses went toward a few consulting contracts as well as several legislative campaigns – including sitting Republicans Nancy Detert, Chris Sprowls, Ross Spano and Daniel Raulerson. At $10,000, FLC’s biggest expense this month was a contribution to the Florida Commission against Domestic Violence.

Treasure Coast Alliance, which backs Negron, looks like it will spend a bit more than it brings in on the October ledger. The committee had nearly $65,000 in expenditures through Oct. 29 and has only collected $58,750 in contributions according to the preliminary numbers.

Approximately $50,000 of TCA’s expenditures went to Ross Consulting, with most of the rest heading toward the legislative campaigns of Negron’s allies – Republican Senators Rob Bradley, Anitere Flores, Denise Grimsley, and John Legg each got $1,000 campaign checks from TCA last month, as did Republican Reps. Gayle Harrell and, surprisingly, Chris Latvala. Sen. Kelli Stargel was also on the list, though her check was given back to TCA.

TCA took in 11 contributions, with the most recent coming on Oct. 19. Donors giving TCA $10,000 or more include career assessment company Kuder Inc., political committee Taxpayers in Action and Tallahassee consulting shop Capitol Insight. Other notable contributors include pari-mutuel company Fronton Holdings and publishing house Houghton Mifflin, both of which gave $5,000.

Negron’s committee entered October with a small cash-on-hand edge over Latvala – TCA had about $1.62 million to FLC’s $1.61 – and barring a Halloween miracle, the two rivals will remain virtually tied, money wise at least.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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