Mike Clelland adds another $97K, widens lead in SD 13 primary race

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Maitland Democrat Mike Clelland added another $97,000 in contributions last month, putting him farther ahead of his two primary opponents in the Senate District 13 race.

“I am honored and energized by the tremendous support I continue to receive from my community. This outpouring of support has only deepened my commitment to serve the people of Central Florida in Tallahassee,” Clelland said. “It’s clear that my community is ready for new leadership in Tallahassee, and I look forward to working on common-sense solutions for the hard-working families of my district as their next State Senator.”

The former state representative announced he raised $19,000 for his campaign account and $78,000 for his political committee, Common Sense for Central Florida, though he has not yet released his complete report for May.

Since filing for the seat in January, Clelland has taken a commanding lead over his primary opponents, former Rep. Linda Stewart and former Orange County School Board member Rick Roach.

At the end of April, Clelland had about $167,000 on hand in his campaign account and another $220,000 on hand for his committee. Through the same date Roach, who filed back in 2014, had about $31,000 on hand; Stewart had about $18,000 in the bank.

Depending on how their full reports pan out, Clelland may still be chasing Republican businessman Dean Asher in fundraising. Through April, Asher had more than $205,000 in his campaign account and another $199,000 in committee cash from local and national Realtor groups.

Despite Asher’s formidable fundraising efforts, the new SD 13 would be an uphill battle for any Republican. The district went plus 13 for President Barack Obama four years ago, and in the same cycle, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson won re-election by 26 points.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.