Jimmy Patronis has massive cash lead over Adam Hattersley in CFO race

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As the campaign cycle turns to the November General Election after the primaries, GOP Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis starts out with a large lead in resources over his Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Adam Hattersley of Tampa.

Patronis has nearly $4.5 million cash on hand between his campaign account and his political committee, Treasure Florida, combined. Hattersley didn’t have a Primary opponent and has spent $108,000 as of Aug. 26, state campaign finance records show. He has just $9,000 in his campaign account.

The discrepancy in campaign funds is just one obstacle Hattersley must overcome to defeat Patronis. He’ll also have to reverse a trend stretching back decades, in which no incumbent Florida Cabinet member has lost election.

Patronis was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2017 to replace Jeff Atwater, who resigned as CFO to take the CFO position at Florida Atlantic University. Patronis won election in 2018 over former Democratic state Senator Jeremy Ring, who spent $940,000 to Patronis’ $2.4 million in that race.

Hattersley won a GOP-leaning House seat in 2018, but opted to run for Congress in 2020 instead of re-election. He lost a Democratic Primary to Alan Cohn for the District 15 seat. Cohn ultimately lost to Republican Scott Franklin in the General Election.

The CFO oversees the state’s payments and receivables, and has direct oversight of the Department of Financial Services, which includes the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Office of Financial Regulation. The position also acts as the state Fire Marshal, overseeing the Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training.

Major donors to Treasure Florida, Patronis’ political committee, this election cycle include Allstate ($8,000), American Integrity Insurance Company ($10,000), Associated Industries of Florida ($85,000), health care management company Centene ($40,000), Florida Power & Light and its parent company, NextEra ($60,000), and Tampa Electric Company ($50,000).

Donations to political committees are uncapped, but donations directly to campaigns are capped at $3,000 per individual or business entity.

Hattersley has just two donors who gave the maximum $3,000 contribution to his campaign account: the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida and Jimmie Giles Financial, a financial services company based in Lutz.

So far, Patronis has received $186,492 in public campaign financing from taxpayers. State law allows for public campaign matching funds to be given to candidates for Governor and Cabinet positions. A candidate for Cabinet, though, must raise at least $100,000 to qualify for the funds, and donations from non-Florida residents don’t count toward the total. Hattersley has raised $119,000, but some of the funds have come from out of state residents and hasn’t received any public matching funds yet.

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