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Holly Raschein draws Democrat in HD 120, but not much challenge

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Rep. Holly Raschein drew a Democratic opponent in her re-election campaign for House District 120, though the Key Largo Republican shouldn’t have too much trouble vaulting the competition to secure her third term.

Retired schoolteacher Artie Leichner filed for the seat in mid-November, and brought in a single $100 check during his first two weeks in the race. Raschein, who has held the seat since 2012, has about $97,000 in on-hand cash, including $6,800 in November contributions.

A large fundraising gap isn’t the only problem Leichner will face, though. Despite holding a slim lead in voter registration numbers, Democrats have not been able gain much traction in the district.

Democrat Ian Whitney tried in the 2012 cycle, though he ended up falling to Raschein on Election Day with 47.6 percent of the vote. Whitney was able to raise about $75,000 in that cycle, though his total was completely outclassed by Raschein’s $265,000 campaign.

The 2014 cycle went even easier, with no primary or Election Day challengers stepping up to the popular lawmaker.

Leichner’s Miami-Dade County roots won’t help him make headway, either. District 120’s small strip of southern Miami-Dade holds about 40,000 of the districts 91,000 voters. The other 51,000 reside Raschein’s home base of Monroe County. She took 57 percent of the Monroe County vote in her 2012 run, which more than made up for Whitney’s slim advantage in Miami-Dade.

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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