Will Jay Fant’s “investment” in HD 15 pay off?

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Let’s do the math…

Jay Fant outspends Paul Renner $608,465 to $313,415 in the GOP primary for House District 15, plowing $375,000 of his own money into his campaign — $160,000 of that in the last 10 days.

Fant’s campaign finance report tells a story of a campaign that knew its early lead in the polls was dwindling. Ten days out from the election, Fant loaned his campaign an additional $75,000 (he had already loaned his campaign $215,000). Four days out, he dumped another $85,000. This was clearly a sign that polling was showing a charging Renner was getting ready to surpass him.

Here is where it gets interesting: when the final campaign finance reports were filed late Friday night, the Fant campaign report only showed him loaning the campaign $100,000 in the final report, not $160,000. In an extremely unusual move, the campaign filed an amended return on Saturday that added an additional $60,000 loan on August 21, the last day campaigns are allowed to accept money.

Did Fant really forget he just gave an additional $60,000 to his campaign when he filed his first report? Some are suggesting the loan was made after the deadline. Hmmm…

The total raised by each campaign including loans … Jay Fant $608,465 … Paul Renner $313,415. Will Fant’s investment pay off?  We won’t know until tomorrow’s recount, as Fant is hanging on to a three vote lead out of nearly 12,000 ballots cast.

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.