Thrasher Leads Pack in Fundraising for Senate Race
Former House Speaker and current State Senate candidate John Thrasher got his campaign off to a fast start. At least in terms of fundraising.
“I’m just looking to pick up some crumbs,” Thrasher said last month at a Tallahassee fundraiser, acknowledging that raising campaign cash for a lowly State Senate seat can prove difficult. But the former Speaker certainly found more than mere crumbs.
During the last quarter, the Thrasher campaign reported raising $268,645.
What's even more impressive is that Thrasher entered the race in May, but his fundraising efforts really only kicked in during the month of June.
Thrasher served on the Clay County School Board from 1986 to 1990 and was elected to the State House in 1992. He served as the Speaker of the House during his fourth and final term in office. In 2000, he was prevented from seeking re-election by term limits. Since leaving the legislature, Thrasher has worked as a lobbyist in Tallahassee and spent a year serving on the Clay County Commission. He was appointed, for a time, by Governor Bush to fill the slot of suspended Commissioner Christy Fitzgerald.
Other Republicans already seeking the seat are former State Representative Aaron Bean, Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham, and former Congressional candidate and local businessman Dan Quiggle.
In a June interview with the Observer, Aaron Bean acknowledged that Thrasher would likely raise a large sum of money very quickly.
"We are most likely going to be outraised as Speaker Thrasher is expected to raise over $1 million," Bean said. "I may get outraised, but I will not be outworked. We are going to continue to work and meet as many voters, speak at every opportunity, discuss our record and debate ideas."
Among the other candidates in the race, businessman Dan Quiggle raised $40,714 in the second quarter. That brings his total to $117,868.
Jacksonville City Councilman Art Graham raised $36,192 to bring his total up to $127,242.
And former State Representative Aaron Bean picked up an additional $17,615 to bring his total haul up to $238,056.