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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democratic establishment steps up for Florida House candidate Ben Diamond

St. Petersburg lawyer Ben Diamond says he raised $30,000 in the his first six days as a candidate for the south Pinellas County Florida House seat being vacated by Democratic state Rep. Dwight Dudley. It's a reflection of his support from state party leaders and insiders, and it sounds like a daunting opening statement to deter challenges until you consider that Democratic rival rival still has about $600,000 in a congressional campaign account that can be shifted to a political committee to promote his state House candidacy. Lynn recently suspended his congressional campaign to run for the Florida legislature.

Diamond has been endorsed by Florida Democratic Chairwoman Allison Tant, House Democratic Leader-Designate Janet Cruz, Former Senator and Governor Bob Graham, Former Governor Charlie Crist, Former CFO Alex Sink, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg city council members Jim Kennedy, Karl Nurse, and Darden Rice, and Pinellas County Commissioners Charlie Justice, Janet Long, and Ken Welch.

“The first few days of a campaign are about planning for the road ahead and building our team," Diamond said in a news release. “We have a strategy already in motion involving dozens of local leaders, activists, elected officials, and Democratic supporters all working to spread our message. I’m truly humbled by the overwhelming support.”

"Fundraising continues to be strong for Eric Lynn since he announced his campaign for State Representative, and that's on top of the over $600,000 cash on hand from before.  We picked up right where we left off," said Lynn's finance chairman, Craig Sher. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2016 11:56am]


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