Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, in a March 4, 2014, file photo (AP Photo/Phil Sears).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, with the field cleared of a potential big-name primary challenger, pulled in more than $400,000 last month for his election effort, with nearly half of the money coming from the insurance industry.
Patronis, who is expected to square off in November with former Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring, also drew more than $35,646 from the health-care industry, $22,296 from Realtors and real estate agencies and $13,092 from the financial-services field, according to numbers posted Thursday on the state Division of Elections website.
Patronis calls for Citizens lobbyist registration
Seeking a full term after being appointed to the CFO post last year by Gov. Rick Scott, Patronis is raising money for his campaign account and the political committee Treasure Florida. In all, he brought in a total of $418,000 in April.
Among the $216,046 the campaign and committee received from insurance agents and companies, Insurance Administrative Solutions of Clearwater, State Mutual Insurance of Rome, Ga., and Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance of Clearwater each gave $50,000, and FCCI Services of Sarasota put up $25,000.
The Cabinet-level office, which has a variety of roles, is responsible for the licensing and oversight of insurance agents and agencies.
Also last month, Patronis’ election effort received $25,000 from Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets, and $3,000 checks from Walt Disney Travel, Disney Vacation Development, Magic Kingdom, Inc., The Celebration Company and Disney Destinations.
Patronis, a Panama City restaurateur and former state lawmaker, spent $78,429 in April through his campaign and the committee, with $57,128 going to consulting and advertising.
Patronis started May with $2.8 million in the bank through the campaign account and committee. He also likely will not have to blow through money on a primary contest, as Sen. Tom Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican and former Senate president, announced in mid-April that he wouldn’t run for the statewide seat.
Meanwhile, Ring is raising money through a campaign account and the political committee Florida Action Fund.
Ring added just over $100,000 last month, with $50,000 of that coming in a loan from the candidate. The Broward County Democrat has now put $150,000 of his own money into the contest.
Ring’s campaign account pulled in $26,566 last month, while the political committee received $26,250. Contributions included $10,000 from Disney Worldwide Services and $2,500 from James Finch of Lynn Haven.
Finch, the owner of Phoenix Construction, attracted attention this week from the gubernatorial campaign of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who called out former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, also a Democrat running for governor, for receiving $100,000 from Finch, a developer of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Ring, a former Yahoo executive who opened May with $466,566 in the two accounts, spent just over $31,000 last month.
News Service of Florida