In a rare battle matching two incumbents of the Florida House of Representatives against each other, Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, has the financial edge over Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, R-Miami, with a month to go until the Republican primary Aug. 14.
The two representatives were both first elected to the Florida House in 2010 to represent parts of Miami-Dade. But, after the redistricting process earlier in the year, the two are pitted against each other in HD 116 to see who will emerge with a second term to continue representing parts of Miami-Dade.
Diaz, an attorney who serves as the vice chairman of the Community and Military Affairs Subcommittee, has pulled together an effective fundraising operation, pulling in almost $244,000 at the end of the second quarter of 2012. In the same period, his campaign has spent more than $107,500, leaving him some $138,000 in the final weeks of the campaign.
Still, Logan, an educator who served four years on the Miami-Dade County School Board before being elected to the House in 2010, has not been a slouch when it comes to fundraising. As of July 6, Logan had raised almost $138,500. By that date, she had spent more than $75,500 from her war chest. With around $63,000 in the bank, she certainly has resources to use in the final month before the primary.
Diaz helped build his financial edge over Logan with an impressive second quarter, as he continues to gain momentum with fundraising. During that period, he raised more than $81,000 and spent almost $83,000. Logan raised little more than $19,000 that came in during that same period, though she came closer to matching Diaz in spending. During the second quarter, Logan spent more than $63,700.
With two Republican incumbents battling it out in the primary, the leadership of the business community has been split on deciding which one to back. The Florida Chamber of Commerce is behind Diaz, while the Florida Retail Federation announced on Monday that it is giving its support to Logan.
Whoever emerges with the Republican nomination will be near certain to come back to Tallahassee after the election in November. The Democrats have not nominated a candidate in the race, nor have any of the various minor parties. There are two write-in candidates -- Javier Daire and Maria Elisa Mena -- who have qualified in the race.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.