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Teachers union, voucher advocates square-off in Dem primary for SD 11

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The Florida Education Association has put another $25,000 into the political committee chaired by Orlando Democratic Rep. Randolph Bracy, who is running in a four-way primary for the newly redrawn Senate District 11.

The “Floridians for Progress” political committee has brought in $55,000 in contributions from the teachers’ union, which accounts for nearly half of its contributions to date.

Bracy is leading the pack in fundraising one week out from the primary election, with former Sen. Gary Siplin holding the second place spot. Through Aug. 12, Bracy had about $73,000 on hand in his campaign account and $12,000 in his PAC, while Siplin had about $33,000 in the bank.

The other two Democrats in the race, former Rep. Bob Sindler and Chuck O’Neal, trail have about $7,000 in on hand cash between them.

Notable names on Siplin’s most recent report include John Kirtley, a Tampa businessman who is a leading advocate for school choice in the Sunshine State, and the “Creating Possibilities” political committee chaired by former Republican Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff.

SD 11 is being vacated by Orlando Sen. Geraldine Thompson, who is running for Congress in CD 10. Democrats make up a little over 50 percent of the electorate in the majority-minority district, making the winner of the Aug. 30 primary the de facto winner of the seat.

The nominee will only face a pair of write-in candidates, Joseph Harris and Miranda Ratcliffe, on Election Day.

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.

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