Three weeks ago, Jeff Brandes shocked, but did not surprise, political observers by investing $500,000 of his own money into his campaign for State Senate District 22. Now, in the last fundraising report before Tuesday’s primary election, it’s what Brandes raised from others which may turn heads.
The one-term State Representative raised more than $113,000 during the F3 reporting period, which covers July 21 to August 9, from contributors and interests throughout the state.
Bradenton real estate mogul Pat Neal contributed at least $10,000 through 20 different entities. A real estate development company based in Dayton Beach donated another $10,000 through 20 of its companies.
Dosal Tobacco, the Florida Farm Bureau, the Fanjuls of Florida Crystals, the National Federation of Independent Business, even the local owners of Ricky T’s, all lined up to donate to Brandes, who increasingly looks like he will win on Tuesday.
Since launching his State Senate campaign on June 1, Brandes has raised $205,095, not counting the money raised and expended for his State House campaign. Brandes’ campaign has spent $421,239 to date.
These figures, of course, do not represent what has been spent by Accountability In Government, Inc, an Electioneering Communication Organization which was essentially created as a third-party vehicle to influence the outcome of the race for District 22.
Since being created on June 22, Accountability in Government (AIG)has raised $1,060,050, much of it from Leadership Committees controlled by incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, Senate President Designate Andy Gardiner and Senate President aspirant Joe Negron. AIG has expended $908,352 — mostly on media buys placed through Mentzer Media of Towson, Maryland.