Who were the Top 5 fundraisers in state Senate, House races?

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With hours left until the November 4 General Election, four Republican Florida Senators, and one ex-Senator running to reclaim her seat, finished blockbuster fundraising efforts in the final reporting period of Oct. 18-30.

In state House races, three incumbents and two non-incumbents – also all Republicans – are tops in fundraising, according to the state Division of Elections.

Top Five Senate Fundraisers

Topping the list is Palm City state Sen. Joe Negron, who added another $59,486 for a total of $873,735 raised through October 30 in his re-election bid for Senate District 32.

Negron faces Democrat Bruno Moore and write-in candidate Matthew Joshua Loew. Moore has raised $9,500 to date, and Loew has zero.

Next up is state Sen. Jeff Brandes. Brandes added another $70,000 and more than $63K in-kind from the Republican Party of Florida, bringing his total to $815,246 in his re-election bid in District 22.

An interesting side note: The St. Petersburg Republican also benefits from strong party support, after receiving more than $63K in-kind during the reporting period from the Republican Party of Florida. It brings Brandes’ in-kind total to $542,120, meaning his effort to return to Tallahassee brought in more than $1.35 million, between direct contributions and comparable support.

Brandes faces Democrat Judithanne McLaughlin, who raised just under $24K – with about $3,700 from the Florida Democratic Party for campaign staff and polling. Her campaign-ending total is now $307,733.

At No. 3 is former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, with an overwhelming $211,430 in fundraising from just Oct. 18-30 in a rematch with Democratic Sen. Maria Sachs for Senate District 34. The Fort Lauderdale Republican’s final total is $761,715.

Sachs also had a substantial fundraising run, adding $32,680 for a total of $354,232, as well as more than $190,000 of in-kind support, mostly from the Florida Democratic Party.

Sen. Jack Latvala, a huge supporter of Bogdanoff’s campaign, comes in at No. 4 with another $27,700 during the reporting period, finishing up with $570,190 for the race for District 20. The Clearwater Republican faces Libertarian Party candidate Tony Caso, who has raised $6,586 through Oct. 10.

Rounding up the top five: Republican Sen. David Simmons, with $463,382, in his bid to retake District 10. Simmons has no major party opponent, only facing NPA candidate Walter Osbourne.

Top Five House Fundraisers

Incoming Speaker Steve Crisafulli leads the top five fundraisers in the House – also all Republicans. The Merritt Island Republican raised another $30,700 during the Oct. 18-30 reporting period, for a total of $641,023 in his District 51 re-election effort.

Crisafulli faces Democrat Joe Murphy, who managed to muster up $1,355 for his campaign. District 51 covers much of Brevard County.

In District 114, Rep. Erik Fresen comes in second with $56,100 for the period — as well as nearly $23,064 in-kind from the RPOF – for a total of $556,694 through Oct. 30.

Fresen faces Democrat Daisy Baez, who raised $27,546 during the same period, with just under $20K in-kind from the FDP, and a total fundraising of just under $254,461. District 114 covers parts of Miami-Dade County, Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.

Rep. Jeanette Nunez raised a total of $433,695, making it to No. 3 on the top fundraising list for her campaign re-election to House District 119. In the final reporting period, she brought in $90,600, with another $4,500 of in-kind support.

Nunez faces Democrat Milagro Ruiz, who raised $6,630 in total — and received no support from the FDP.

Two non-incumbents round out the list of big moneymakers, including Miami attorney Daniel Diaz Leyva, who faces Democratic incumbent state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez in the House District 112 race.

Leyva finished strong with another $65,150, for a total of $431,257.

Rodriguez also raised $34,205, to end his campaign with $342,550, as well as $113,964 in support from the FDP. In that race, in-kind may go to help level the playing field with Leyva, who also has a solid lead in polling.

The other non-incumbent is Republican Brad Drake, a former state representative who added $27,425, for an overall total of $424,799 as of Oct. 30.

Drake also received a boost of $3,041 from the RPOF, for a total of $65,660 in-kind for his return to Tallahassee in District 5.

Drake had served in the House from 2008 to 2012 until redistricting merged his district with Marianna’s state Rep. Marti Coley. Drake decided to support Coley for re-election. Drake’s opponent, Libertarian Karen Schoen, collected another $1,488 for a total of $9,559.

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.