Florida GOP legislative leadership sends strong support to Jay Collins in July


Republican Jay Collins outraised incumbent Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz in July, collecting hefty donations from legislative leadership and continuing to amp up the competitiveness of Senate District 14.

Cruz collected $122,946 from July 2-29 between her campaign and political committee, Building The Bay PC. Collins totaled $173,691 in the same timeframe between his campaign and recently formed political committee, Quiet Professionals FL.

Collins’ campaign saw a slew of $1,000 contributions from Republican lawmakers and their affiliated political committees during July, including support from Sens. Jeff Brandes, Ed Hooper and Ray Rodrigues, as well as Reps. Colleen Burton, Erin Grall and Blaise Ingoglia. Overall, his campaign reported 93 $1,000 donations last month, many from conservative PACs.

As for his affiliated political committee, Collins saw a $10,000 drop from House Speaker Pro Tempore Bryan ?vila’s political committee, Fighting for Florida’s Families. ?vila’s political committee previously sent $20,000 to Collins’ political committee back in June.

Collins’ committee also reported $20,000 from now retired Joe White, who owned Castle Supply Co. and later established the philanthropic White Family Foundation, $10,000 from construction company Moss & Associates and $3,000 from a political committee affiliated with Sen. Tom Wright,

Cruz’s campaign, on the other hand, saw 12 $1,000 drops in July from organizations including the Florida Education Association (FEA), Latino Rising, SEIU Florida, Floridians for Senior Care and Hillsborough County Firefighters PAC.

Her political committee saw much larger contributions, receiving $50,000 from the FEA, $15,000 from New Direction Florida PAC and $10,000 from tobacco company Reynolds American, Inc.

The pair are in for a tough race, with Cruz boasting a hefty war chest — she’ll start August with over $603,855 cash on hand between her campaign account and affiliated political committee. Collins will start the new month with $297,906 between his two fundraising sources.

Collins pulled an endorsement from Gov. Ron DeSantis when he entered the race. Tampa businessman Shawn Harrison, who filed in April, left the race in response to Collins’ shift.

SD 14 is a blue-leaning seat, but a competitive one. About 51.25% of voters under the new SD 14 lines favored Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election while 47.33% voted for Republican Donald Trump.

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