The money is flowing into SD 34, a South Florida state Senate race in which two of the chamber's heavyweights, incumbents Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, and Maria Sachs, D-Delray, are engaged in what likely will be a tooth-and-nail November struggle to return to Tallahassee.
Bogdanoff has filled her coffers for what should be a tough contest. In the second quarter of 2012, she pulled in more than $106,000 in cash, almost $49,000 through in-kind donations and spent more than $23,000.
A veteran of the House before heading to the Senate after the 2010 elections, Bogdanoff has done well with fundraising as she looks for another term. So far in the 2012 election cycle, she has raised more than $366,750 and spent more than $62,500 -- giving her more than $300,000 in the bank. Bogdanoff has also relied on in-kind donations, using almost $51,750 of them so far in the campaign.
While she does have the support of most of the Republican leadership in the state, Bogdanoff does not have an open shot at the GOP nomination. Standing in her way is Mike Lameyer who is back for another run at a state Senate seat. Lameyer, a pilot, a bowling coach and former Marine who is a backer of the James Madison Institute, ran in the Republican primary for a state Senate seat back in 2010, placing third with 25 percent behind Lizbeth Benacquisto, who won the nomination and the seat in the general election, and former Rep. Sharon Merchant.
Lameyer had his best fund-raising haul in the second quarter, raising more than $2,000 and relying on $900 in loans and $200 through in-kind donations. But he also increased the pace of his expenses, spending almost $3,000 in that period. So far in 2012, Lameyer has raised more than $3,400 but spent more than $4,000 -- leaving him running near empty in the final weeks before the primary.
Whoever emerges with the Republican nomination in the primary on Aug. 14 will face Sachs in the general election. After two terms in the Florida House, Sachs sought a seat in the Senate in 2010 and is looking to extended her legislative career.
Sachs raised almost $89,000 in cash in the second quarter of 2012. She also relied on almost $16,000 through in-kind donations and the Democrat has been stashing most of the money she raised in the bank, spending less than $15,000 in the second quarter.
For the 2012 campaign cycle, Sachs has posted impressive figures though she is trailing Bogdanoff in the money chase. Sachs has raised almost $174,000 so far in the campaign and spent more than $33,500. With more than $140,000 in the bank, Sachs has a solid war chest. She has also relied heavily on in-kind donations, using almost $78,000 of them.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or at (850) 727-0859.