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Old Names and New Faces Lead State Senate Fundraising in Second Quarter

Senate hopeful Joe Negron blew other candidates out of the water as he raised more than $303,000 in less than three months in his quest to replace Sen. Ken Pruitt for the District 28 Senate seat.

Facing a special election Aug. 4, Negron led all candidates in fundraising activity for the quarter ending June 30, according to data filed with the Florida Division of Elections.

“We’ve been very fortunate in getting the support of a wide variety of individuals and groups from around the state,” Negron said Monday.

A former House member and Stuart-based Republican, Negron boosted his campaign kitty to $405,000, second only to Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, a Republican candidate for Senate District 38.

Rivera, the former House Rules Committee chairman, has raised more than $412,000, including $161,504 for the quarter that ended June 30. His Republican rival, Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, who jumped in the race in February, ran about even with Rivera during the quarter, having raised $160,445, but remains behind him overall.

The $100,000 Club for the three month period was dominated by returning veterans and a pair of candidates in his their first quests for legislative office.

Coming in second for the quarter, former House Speaker John Thrasher raised $274,375 since stepping into the race for Senate District 8. The seat is being vacated by former Senate President Jim King, R-Jacksonville, who is term limited out of office after more than years in both chambers.

Former Republican Senator Jack Latvala stormed onto the scene for an open seat in the Tampa Bay-area, Senate District 16, which had been occupied by Democratic incumbent-turned Congressional candidate Charlie Justice. Latvala, who served in the Senate from 1994 to 2002, raised $233,960 since entering the race in April.

But the top second quarter figures also included some legislative newcomers. Former Leon County Superintendent Bill Montford raised $111,205 since kicking off his race in April against former Reps. Lorrane Ausley and Curtis Richardson to replace exiting Democratic Leader Al Lawson in the District 6 Democratic stronghold. Ausley still leads Montford in overall contributions with $169,788.

Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami lawyer and former Miami-Dade County Commissioner, raised $163,950 for the Senate District 36 race held by his brother, Alex.

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