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Here’s a rundown of the final flurry of pre-primary fundraising activity in Tampa Bay races

in Peter/Top Headlines by

The Tampa Bay area’s Senate seats are mostly decided, but new campaign finance reports show a flurry of activity in SD 19, the only area Senate district with a primary battle.

Democrat Augie Ribeiro has raised and spent the most money, including another $10,000 of his own money between Aug. 12 and Aug. 25, though he is running against three current and former lawmakers.

Rep. Ed Narain crossed the $250,000 mark in total fundraising after reporting $4,500 in contributions for the two-week period, while former Rep. Betty Reed raised just $120.16 for about $34,000 in contributions since entering the race.

St. Petersburg Rep. Darryl Rouson came in with $12,960 in his pre-Democratic Primary report, putting him at $171,000 in total fundraising with $22,000 of that money on hand.

The winner of the primary will face Republican John “Mr. Manners” Houman, who has about $100 in his campaign account.

SD 18 is the other Senate seat up for grabs, though Tampa Republican Rep. Dana Young keeps building up her campaign finance lead over Tampa attorney Bob Buesing.

Young added another $28,201 to her campaign account and $43,500 to her political committee, for a massive $1.6 million in fundraising so far, and she still has $1.2 million of that money on hand.

Buesing showed $25,000 in contributions over the past two weeks, and has about $258,000 on hand.

Young and Buesing also face a pair of write-in candidates, Sheldon Upthegrove and Joe Redner, though neither has gained much traction in the money race.

In the House, Republican Reps. Jake Raburn and Jamie Grant and Democratic Rep. Janet Cruz have won re-election without opposition, while fellow incumbents Dan Raulerson, Chris Sprowls, Larry Ahern and Chris Latvala continued piling on massive leads in their respective re-election campaigns.

South Pasadena Republican Rep. Kathleen Peters added another $15,000 to her campaign account in the HD 69 race, building her lead over Democrat Jennifer Webb, who raised a little over $7,000.

Peters has about $140,000 in the bank compared to $55,000 for Webb.

In HD 59, Democrats Rene Frazier and Naze Sahebzamani are duking it out for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Ross Spano in November.

Frazier has raised about $129,000 to date, including $4,120 in her most recent report, and is only a few thousand behind Spano in cash-on-hand. Sahebzamani, meanwhile, added $0 in contributions over the past two weeks and will likely lose out to Frazier in the Tuesday primary.

Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison still leads Democratic challenger Lisa Montelione in the HD 63 race, though the former Tampa City Councilwoman outraised Harrison for the sixth reporting period in a row.

Harrison brought in $8,050 and has $123,163 in the bank, while Montelione added another $9,020 in contributions for an on-hand total of about $93,000 as of Aug. 25.

Most of the rest of the Bay Area’s seats should be decided during the Tuesday primary, including who will replace Young in HD 60, Rouson in HD 70 and Democratic Rep. Dwight Dudley in HD 68.

Republican Rebecca Smith maintained her lead over fellow Republican Jackie Toledo in the race to take over for Young.

Both candidates brought in just under $17,000 during the two-week reporting period, though Smith had $130,000 in the bank compared to $55,533 for Toledo. That advantage comes mainly from the $165,000 in loans Smith made to her campaign back in May.

St. Petersburg City Councilman Wengay Newton built his lead in the three-way Democratic Primary for HD 70 with $8,675 in contributions in his new report for an on-hand total of $28,567.

CJ Czaia came in with $2,900 and has about $700 on hand, Dan Fiorini raised $1,560 for just under $1,900.

Cori Fournier, the lone Republican in the race, is also running in the heavily Democratic district and has about $100 on hand.

In HD 68, Ben Diamond heavily outraised Eric Lynn ahead of the Democratic Primary, with $30,181 in contributions between Aug. 12 and Aug. 25. The performance brought his total fundraising to about $268,000, though he only has about $18,000 of that money on hand.

Lynn, who was running for CD 13 before entering the HD 68 contest, raised about $5,500, including $2,153 in l0ans. To date, the candidate has raised about $113,000, and he has about $5,000 of that money in the bank.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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