Republican incumbent Jimmie Smith raises almost $80K for HD 34 race

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Trying to beat back a challenge from former lawmaker Nancy Argenziano, State Rep. Jimmie Smith, collected $79,665 in contributions between Aug. 10 and Sept. 14, newly filed reports via the News Service of Florida show.

Smith has raised an overall total of $180,387 and appears certain to have a huge fund-raising edge over Argenziano, a former Republican House member and senator who is running as an independent. Argenziano’s latest totals had not been posted on the state Division of Elections website early Thursday afternoon, but she had raised only $5,395 through Aug. 9.

More than half of Smith’s contributions during the latest period — $49,000 — came in a check from the Republican Party of Florida. Also, that does not include more than $23,000 from the party in in-kind contributions, such as staffing and polling. Smith also got money from major players in Tallahassee, including the Florida Medical Association, U.S. Sugar Corp. and the HCA hospital chain.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.