Massive quantities of cash are hallmark of House District GOP 15 primary

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Seemingly unrestrained amounts of campaign cash are the hallmark of the House District 15 battle between Jacksonville attorney Paul Renner and business executive Jay Fant.

HD 15 has become not only one of the most acrimonious state House races — with influence of outside sources abandoning any semblance of a “clean campaign” –  but also the most expensive.

As for issues, the Jacksonville Business Journal noted little daylight between Fant and Renner, but that has not stopped either candidate from throwing around big money.

To put it in perspective, total money amassed by both candidates has reached $851,509, with spending hitting an equally impressive $700K.

Although Renner is outperforming Fant by $90,000 in actual fundraising, the former CEO of First Guaranty Bank and Trust has advanced his campaign nearly $315K, including $100,000 in the final fundraising period for Tuesday’s GOP primary, according to the state Division of Elections.

The two Republicans are vying to replace term-limited Rep. Daniel Davis, with the winner facing write-in candidates Kerry Kelley and Calvin White.

Renner, a South Florida state attorney and Navy veteran, raised $38,575 from Aug. 9-21 for a total of $313,416. After spending $283,205 in all, Renner finishes his primary effort with $30,210 cash on hand.

While taking only $6,630 in contributions in the final period, Fant resorted to a massive amount of loans, finishing the primary with just over $538,000. After spending $92,408 over the three days, for an overwhelming $416,154 in overall expenditures, Fant still has $122,000 cash on hand.

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.