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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Key Republican banks on picking up Florida Senate seat held by Democrats

State Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, is running for Senate District 40

Times File Photo

State Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, is running for Senate District 40

24

August

Democrats in Florida have been fired up heading into the fall at the prospects of picking up seats in the Florida Senate and chipping away at the Republican’s 26-14 majority. But one key Republican is betting big that the GOP is in position to be the one’s flipping at least one seat that is currently in Democratic hands.

New campaign finance reporting shows Florida Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano used a political action committee he controls called Innovate Florida to drop $150,000 into Miami’s Senate District 40, where Republican Frank Artiles is hoping to knock out whoever emerges from an increasingly nasty Democratic primary race there.

Galvano’s donation went to a political committee controlled by Artiles called Veterans for Common Sense Principles. It’s the single largest donation Artiles has collected by far and nearly doubles what that committee had raised over the last four months.

“That is a very winnable seat,” Galvano said in explaining the largest single donation Innovate Florida has made this year.

Galvano said Artiles is working hard and has a real shot to win the seat.

Despite Galvano’s optimism, newly redistricted maps show Democrats have an advantage in that district. In 2012, President Barack Obama won the area that is in the new Senate District 40 by 9 percentage points. Incument Sen. Dwight Bullard is one of three Democrats on the ballot in the Aug. 30 primary.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 9:11am]

    

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