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Where fundraising races stand in Tampa Bay area 2016 legislative contests

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Voting in Florida state races is now just under 18 months away, with a June special session and the 2016 Regular Session thrown in for good measure.

Nevertheless, political campaigns statewide are starting to gear up, as the campaign cash begins to flow in earnest.

Here’s where things stand through April 30 in fundraising races across the Tampa Bay region, according to the Florida Division of Elections’ website:

Senate District 17

State Sen. John Legg, who has been raising money for his campaign account since late 2012, has now accumulated $154,300 through the end of April, spending only $20,124. The Republican from Lutz, who is running unopposed, represents Senate District 17, which includes parts of Hillsborough and Pasco Counties.

Senate District 19

Former state Rep. Betty Reed, a Tampa Democrat, has raised $3,975 and loaned her campaign $500, in the race for the seat now held by term-limited Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner. Reed faces fellow Democratic state Rep. Darryl Rouson from St. Petersburg, also term-limited from House District 70, who has so far raised $12,825 through April 30. Rouson already spent just over $6,000 to date.

House District 57            

Incumbent Republican Rep. Jake Raburn is seeking another term in HD 57, which covers much of Hillsborough County, as well as Sun City Center and Apollo Beach. The Lithia Republican, who is also running unopposed, has raised $62,650 and spent $13,539.

House District 58            

Plant City Republican Rep. Dan Raulerson raised $10,250, spending $1,810, for re-election to House District 58, which covers much of northern Hillsborough County.  Raulerson is currently running unopposed.

House District 59            

Almost immediately after his win last November, Republican state Rep. Ross Spano took the first steps for a re-election run in House District 59, raising an overall $30,770, only spending $7,702. District 59 covers central Hillsborough County, Brandon, Riverview, Progress Village and Valrico.

House District 60            

House Republican Leader Rep. Dana Young has also been busy raising $97,950 and spending $10,545 so far for her re-election to House District 60. Young is running unopposed for the seat that represents much of coastal Hillsborough County, including South Tampa and Davis Island.

House District 61            

First-term Democratic Rep. Ed Narain has raised $13,000 and spent $2,530 for another term in Hillsborough County House District 61. Narain is currently unopposed in the Demcratic stronghold district covering Seminole Heights, East Tampa, Ybor City and parts of West Tampa.

House District 62            

Democratic incumbent Rep. Janet Cruz has raised $9,860 and spent $4,629 for another term in House District 62, which includes parts of Hillsborough County and much of the Town-N-Country neighborhood in Tampa.

House District 63            

Republican incumbent Rep. Shawn Harrison has raised $21,000 through April 30 and has listed no expenditures in the race for House District 63, which covers most of north Hillsborough County. Harrison, who alternated control of District 63 with former Rep. Mark Danish, now faces Democrat Mike Reedy, who has raised $4,457, and spent $946 so far.

House District 64            

Newly re-re-elected state Rep. Jamie Grant, the Republican incumbent who retook his office in a special election days before the end of the 2015 Legislative Session, faces fellow GOP’er Joseph Michael Wilkinson. Neither candidate has reported any fundraising, most likely because Grant simply did not have enough time since his last campaign.

House District 65            

First-term Republican incumbent Rep. Chris Sprowls has raised $32,750 and spent $1,152 since unseating Democrat Carl Zimmermann in 2014 for Pinellas County House District 65. Sprowls, a Tarpon Springs native, is currently running unopposed.

House District 66            

Republican incumbent Rep. Larry Ahern has raised $50,500 and spent $5,842 since he trounced Democratic newcomer Lorena Grizzle in the race for Florida House District 66. So far, Ahern is running unopposed.

House District 67            

Freshman Republican Rep. Chris Latvala has raised $30,194 overall, with $5,160 in expenditures, since his victory in House District 67, which covers Clearwater, Largo and Pinellas Park. Latvala, son of state Sen. Jack Latvala, is currently running unopposed.

House District 68            

Democratic State Rep. Dwight Dudley has accumulated $16,812 and spent only $797, in his bid to stay in Pinellas County House District 68. This time, Dudley is facing two Republicans: Eugene Hendry, who has filed nothing but waivers; and notorious tweeter Joshua Black, raising only $422.

House District 69            

Incumbent Republican Rep. Kathleen Peters has raised $32,600 in her bid for another term in House District 69, which covers the South Pinellas Beaches, Gulfport and South Pasadena. Peters is running unopposed.

House District 70            

Term-limited St. Petersburg City Council member Wengay Newton, when he isn’t entertaining the crowd at City Hall, raised $5,942 in his effort to succeed Darryl Rouson in House District 70, which covers South Pinellas and parts of Hillsborough Counties. The St. Pete Democrat has also spent $3,366.

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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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