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Gary Price posts $64K in May, though Matt Hudson still in commanding lead

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The race to take over termed-out Republican state Sen. Garrett Richter’s District 23 seat was already setting up to be a hard- fought battle between Republican state Reps. Matt Hudson and Kathleen Passidomo, and the May entry of Naples businessman Gary Price looks likely to produce an even more contentious three-way primary.

Campaign finance numbers for May show Hudson is still firmly in the lead with $240,600 in contributions, though his May haul of $2,010 looks anemic in comparison to Passidomo’s $23,825 and Price’s impressive $64,250 in his debut month.

Price, who detailed his campaign platform in a SaintPetersBlog exclusive in May, got maximum donations from 62 contributors. The list includes a handful of conservative PACs and local donors, though Price also drew contributions from Clearwater Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala, who cut checks for $1,000 from himself, his company and his Florida Leadership Committee PAC.

Passidomo’s May contributions were offset by $13,683 in expenditures, mostly for mailers and consulting fees, leaving her with $91,000 in the bank. Hudson’s burn rate is low by comparison. With a total of $9,012 in expenditures since he filed, he has $231,588 cash on hand. Price has $68,100 on hand, including $5,000 in loans to his campaign.

If Price carries any fundraising momentum through June, he could make up a lot of ground due to the special legislative session halting contributions for both Passidomo and Hudson.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and 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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