Former State Attorney and State Senator Rod Smith raised $282,985 in his first month of his Senate District 8 campaign.
In a statement Thursday, Smith’s campaign called the response a “massive outpouring” of bipartisan support.
The figures include $150,485 contributed to his personal campaign account, and another $132,500 to Independent Leadership for Florida, the political committee supporting Smith.
“We have received strong early support from Democrats, Republicans, and independents throughout Northcentral Florida because they want independent leaders who will focus on getting things done instead of playing political games and pointing fingers,” Smith said the announcement. “In the Senate, I’ll stand up for our families and small businesses here at home and not the powerful special interests in Tallahassee.”
Smith added he has a “proven history of standing up for working families in North Central Florida.”
As an attorney, he represented police and firefighters and was elected to serve as State Attorney of the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida in 1992. During that time, Smith successfully prosecuted Danny Rolling for killing a Gainesville student.
Smith served two terms in the Florida State Senate from 2000 to 2006, where he earned a reputation for working across the aisle to get legislation passed for both the state and his district. Smith received his law degree from the University of Florida.
Smith lives on his Alachua family farm with his wife Dee Dee, where they raised their three children. He has three grandchildren.
Smith’s only opponent in the Alachua County-based District 8 race so far is third-term Gainesville Republican Rep. Keith Perry, who announced in February he would forego his final term in the House to make the jump to the Senate.