John Shannon surges, Colleen Burton flattens in GOP primary for HD 40

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Florida House hopeful John Hugh Shannon posted another solid fundraising month in May by adding $22,010 for the race for House District 40, just under three times the amount raised by GOP primary opponent Colleen Burton.

The Lakeland attorney and Marine Corps veteran now has a total of $79,435, and after spending $11,118 to date, now has more than $68,300 cash on hand.

Burton, a former executive director for Polk Vision, raised only $7,899 last month — including $5,049 in contributions from the candidate herself — for a total of $106,100. Although that may appear to be a reliably solid number, when taking in account a total of $29,517 spent to date, she is left with $76,583 on hand, less than $8,300 ahead of Shannon. Her shrinking lead, as well as a substantial cash boost from her own pocket, shows a flattening out of the substantial head start she had through last year, when she was running unopposed.

John Hugh Shannon is running, as a Republican, to replace term-limited Rep. Seth McKeel for the seat covering much of Polk County.  The winner of the August 26 GOP primary faces Democrat Ricky Shirah and American Independent Party candidate Franklin Shoemaker, who only raised $300 last month.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.