Sanibel City Council member Jason Maughan has topped six figures in contributions to his House District 76 campaign.
Maughan told Florida Politics that he pulled in an additional $35,350 in the month of June. Added with past contributions, that means he now has $103,700 in total contributions.
That’s good, as he expects a lull in July.
“I’ll be taking July to have summer holidays with family and then back at it in August,” Maughan said.
The Sanibel Island Republican among active candidates has been in the race longest, following the withdrawal of Peter Cuderman.
But he still has a fight on his hands.
Jesse Purdon, a former U.S. House staffer, jumped into the race in mid-June. Florida Division of Elections records also show Adam Botana, whose family runs Baywater Boat Club, filed on Wednesday.
So far, only Republicans have filed in the HD 76 race.
Maughan said having opponents so far has been a benefit in fundraising efforts. As soon as Purdon entered the race, Maughan said a number of supporters wrote their first checks to the previously uncontested campaign.
Candidates seek to succeed state Rep. Ray Rodrigues, who cannot seek reelection thanks to term limits. Rodrigues instead filed for state Senate.
Those other Republican candidates have yet to release their first financial reports. But activists locally expect both could post formidable opposition.
Maughan hopes having more than a $103,000 head start gives him a leg up in the race.
He’s also already shored up endorsements from a number of political leaders in the region, including State Attorney Amira Fox.
Maughan also hopes to trade on some name recognition garnered in his 2016 state Senate campaign against incumbent Lizbeth Benacquisto.
He wasn’t successful in that bid, and the Republican primary was ultimately an extremely negative affair. But the attention on the race gave Maughan an edge in name recognition, he said, when he first ran for Sanibel City Council.
The Southwest Florida House district leans heavily Republican. Rodrigues in 2018 defeated Democrat David Bogner with nearly 65 percent of the vote.
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