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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Top five fundraisers for Florida House and Senate for 2016 election cycle



Despite major uncertainty about what Florida state senate districts will ultimately look like after a special session on redistricting concludes on Nov. 6, it is not slowing down candidates when it comes to raising money.

Look no further that Senate Distict 1 in the Florida Panhandle for proof of that. Already more than $1.2 million has been raised by the two Republicans seeking that seat, setting it up to be one of the hottest state senate primary races in Florida in 2016. State Rep. Matt Gaetz has raised over $700,000 in his campaign account in his effort to replace his father Sen. Don Gaetz in the Senate.

But though his opponent in the race, Bay County Commissioner George Gainer, has only been in the race for over a month, the Republican already has more than $500,000 of his own, thanks to a major loan from himself to his campaign.

Matt Gaetz and Gainer are the two biggest fundraisers for legislature races in 2016 so far, at least when it comes to raising money in their primary campaign accounts. Here is a list of the five candidates in the House and Senate who have raised the most for the 2016 election cycle in their campaign accounts.

Florida House

$207,105 – Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes. The House Appropriations Chairman has raised the most money of any House incumbent for his re-election campaign in the Pasco-based District 37 despite no Democratic challengers having filed to challenge Corcoran for re-election. However, he does face a potential GOP primary challenge in Spring Hill Republican Ronson Hale Biedrzycki, who filed to run for the seat in May, but had raised just $100 so far.

$166,084 – Randy Adam Fine. The Brevard County Republican is seeking to replace term-limited Rep. John Tobia. He is running in a Republican primary in District 53 against Andy Anderson, a Republican who has raised $21,665 for the campaign

$142,675 – Ralph E. Massullo Jr. The Republican is running for District 34, which covers parts of Citrus and Hernando counties. He is seeking to replace Rep. Jimmie Smith, who has filed to run for the Florida Senate. He has no announced opposition.

$138,195 – State Rep. W. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. The Sarasota Republican has built a war chest, but not necessarily for re-election. Steube is raising money that is expected to roll over to a Senate campaign committee. Steube is one of three Republicans aiming to replace State Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, in District 28. Former State Rep. Doug Holder, R-Venice, has raised $142,000 for the contest, while former Sarasota County commission Nora Patterson has raised $33,589, after just a month on the campaign. But if Steube is drawn into a different Senate district, as some of the early redistricting maps show, he may be left using that money on defending his current House seat.

$138,038 – Lange Sykes. The Indian River Republican is one of three Republicans vying for the District 54 seat currently held by Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach. Not far behind is Erin Grall, a Republican also from Indian River County, has raised $135,603.

 Florida Senate

$704,825 – State Rep. Matt Gaetz. The Panhandle Republican is running to replace State Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, who cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

$504,600 – George Broward Gainer. A current Bay County commissioner, Gainer is challenging Gaetz for District 1. To start off his campaign, Gainer, an automobile dealer, gave his campaign a $500,000 loan.

$390,769 – Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island. The incumbent so far faces no opposition for re-election to Distict 7.

$357,309 – Sen Anitere Flores, R-Miami. The incumbent so far faces no opposition for re-election to District 37.


$356,790 – Lauren Book. The Democrat from Planation is seeking the District 33 seat, which is currently held by term limited Democrat Sen. Eleanor Sobel.

[Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 5:28pm]


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