Sens. Lizbeth Benacquisto, Oscar Braynon extend fundraising leads

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Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto and Sen. Oscar Braynon, each facing challenges in the Aug. 26 primaries, have extended their fundraising leads even further between July 26 and Aug. 1.

Benacquisto added $21,350 during the weeklong reporting period, bringing her total to $646,459, according to the Division of Elections website. She also spent $573,658 as of Aug. 1.

Benacquisto faces Bokeelia Republican Michael Dreikorn in the GOP primary for Senate District 30. Dreikorn has raised a total of $10,282.

Braynon raised $24,025 from July 26 to Aug. 1 for total of $201,436 while spending $130,690.

Braynon’s challenger is North Miami Democrat Anis “Auguste” Blemur, who raised $16,696 as of Aug. 1 — and loaning the campaign $55,810 – financial reports show.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.