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Politics

HD 105: Carlos Trujillo Faces GOP Primary Challenge from Paul Crespo

July 26, 2012 - 6:00pm

As he seeks a second term in the Florida House, Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, faces a serious challenger in the Republican primary on Aug. 14 and is looking at a very different district than the one he currently represents.

First elected to the Florida House in 2010 after serving as an assistant state attorney, Trujillo currently represents parts of Miami-Dade County. But, after the Legislature tackled redistricting earlier in the year, Trujillo now is running for a seat that contains parts of Broward and Collier counties as well as parts of Miami-Dade.

As of July 20, Trujillo assembled an impressive war chest and spent most of it. Since filing to run for a second term in February 2011, he has raised more than $150,500 and relied on $44,250 through in-kind donations. But Trujillo has little in the bank. As of July 20, his campaign had spent almost $147,250 -- giving him around $3,300 on hand in the last weeks of the campaign. Trujillos spending has accelerated in recent weeks: he spent more than $38,650 and used $12,000 from in-kind donations from July 7 through July 20.

Still Trujillo has garnered some impressive endorsements, including those of former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Maro. The leadership of the Florida business community has also rallied behind Trujillos bid for a second term. The Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida, the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) and the Florida Chamber of Commerce have all backed him.

Conservative activist, Marine Corps vet and professor Paul Crespo is standing in Trujillos way for the Republican nomination. Crespo is well-known in the area for his congressional bid in 2010. He took 27 percent in the Republican primary, placing second behind David Rivera who garnered 62 percent and won the nomination.

Crespo filed his paperwork to run for the Florida House back in March 2011 and he started off with a bang, raising more than $28,700 and loaning the campaign $11,375 before June 30, 2011 -- but he also spent almost $22,400 during that time.Raising only$150 in the second half of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, Crespo has not been able to keep up with Trujillo in the money chase. For the second quarter of 2012, Crespo pulled in $4,850 and loaned his campaign another $5,800 -- but spent more than $9,000. With all of his inconsistent fundraising, Crespo raised more than $33,700, loaned his campaign $17,175 and spent almost $39,000 as of July 6.

Whoever emerges with the Republican nomination will be an extremely heavy favorite to represent the district in Tallahassee. With no Democrats, minor party candidates or independents in the race, the Republican nominee will face Raul Rene Robayna, who is running as a write-in candidate, come November.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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