Kiyan Michael, backed by Ron DeSantis, finding traction in HD 16 race

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Kiyan Michael lagged far behind her two opponents in the House District 16 race in terms of fundraising, until Gov. Ron DeSantis endorsed her last month.

Headed into the homestretch of the campaign, Michael is find tractioning with donors right on time for the Aug. 23 Republican Primary for the Duval County seat in the state House, after a campaign dominated by stronger fundraising from her opponents, both White male political veterans.

During the week ending Aug. 5, Michael reported raising $54,000 between her campaign account and the supportive Friends of Kiyan Michael political committee. The Safety Net Hospital Alliance gave $1,000 to her campaign account, while other donors with statewide profiles gave even bigger sums to her committee account.

One particularly significant donation was from ICI Homes of Daytona Beach, which gave the Michael committee $10,000. ICI Homes is owned by Mori Hosseini, who chairs the University of Florida Board of Trustees.

Michael has a television ad up spotlighting the DeSantis endorsement, one funded by a previous $50,000 donation from the Friends of Ron DeSantis political committee.

She has roughly $110,000 on hand between the two accounts, but momentum is with her at a key time.

The leading fundraiser in the field is still Jacksonville Beach City Councilman Chet Stokes, the establishment choice in the race before DeSantis went with Michael.

He raised just north of $5,500 between his campaign account and his Strengthening Florida’s Future political committee in the week ending Aug. 5, with the biggest donation being $2,000 from NextEra Capital, the holding company of Florida Power and Light.

Despite the slowdown in his fundraising, Stokes still has over $225,000 on hand between the two accounts. He has self-funded aggressively, with $250,000 of loans to his campaign this cycle, and he has had television ads running for weeks.

Former Rep. Lake Ray, a political veteran from the western part of the district, represented the former House District 12 for four terms. Donations were slow for him in the week ending Aug. 5, with just over $5,000 raised between his political committee, A Stronger Florida for Us, and his campaign account. After spending roughly $40,000 that week on media, he has roughly $110,000 on hand.

Only Republicans can vote in this race, as two write-in candidates qualified and closed the Primary.

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