Democrats Adam Morley and Curtis Ceballos face enormous financial hurdles in their campaigns challenging Republicans Paul Renner and Travis Hutson in November’s legislative elections. Renner is out-raising Morley 32-to-1. Ceballos has yet to reach his first $1,000.
But with more than six months to go before Election Day, Morley is at least already approaching the total haul he raised in the April 2015 special election for the Florida House seat that Renner won with 67 percent of the vote.
Morley is in a rematch with Renner in the District 24 House election. Ceballos, of Palm Coast, is challenging Hutson for the District 6 seat that Hutson won in the April special election, beating Daytona Beach Democrat David Cox with 70 percent of the vote. None of the candidates have drawn primary opponents. Qualifying ends June 24 at noon. District 24 and District 6 include all of Flagler County.
According to the latest filings, Morley, a St. Augustine resident and charter boat captain with St. Augustine Eco Tours, raised $4,200 from 102 contributors, mostly in small donations. The average contribution is $41. But he has more contributors than in last year’s run, when he raised a total of $5,695 from 76 contributors. His average contribution was $75. Morley’s contributors are relatively evenly divided between St. Augustine and Flagler Beach–reflecting his frequent presence in the county–with some donors from Volusia County. With rare exceptions, every contributor is an individual, as opposed to a corporation or a political action committee, as is the case with his opponent.
Renner, a Palm Coast attorney, has raised $136,000 from 228 contributors (an average contribution of nearly $600), with corporations and PACs dominating the contributors’ list, and their addresses stretching all over northeast and northwest Florida. Renner is still a practicing attorney in Jacksonville, where he has long lived. Almost $15,000 of his haul was raised in March and April. He spent $25,000 of his total. He has just two contributors from palm Coast: Thomas Lutz ($1,000) and Patrick Juliano ($50), the former Palm Coast fireman now working as Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s regional manager. There are no contributors from Flagler Beach or Bunnell.
Hutson has raised $61,475 from 81 contributors, $7,500 of it in the last two months. His average contribution is over $700. Like Renner, his contributors are all over the Florida map, and most are corporations and PACs. Just one contributor is from Palm Coast (Lutz again, who contributed $1,000). There are none from Flagler Beach or Bunnell.
Ceballos, who announced his run at the end of April, so far has raised just $125 in cash.
May 10 at noon was the latest deadline for campaign finance contribution reports.