Clay County Republican Jennifer Bradley is a first-time candidate, but in October she showed she will be a major-league player in the state Senate.
Bradley’s husband Rob is Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and another six-figure month of fundraising makes it clear that representing the deep-red 11-county Senate District 5 will continue to be a family affair.
Perhaps the Florida Legislature, in its pending “Guide to a Healthy Marriage,” will allow the Bradleys to handle the campaign finance do’s and don’t’s.
The Bradleys’ political committee Working for Florida’s Families continued to put in work of its own in October.
A healthy $86,000 was brought in against $37,000 in spend, leaving $905,000 cash on hand.
October was also a net positive for candidate Bradley’s campaign account.
All told, $41,355 was raised, $2,575 spent, and a cash on hand of roughly $297,000. A broad swath of established Tallahassee interests and players made their sentiments known.
A $1.2 million head start in defending her husband’s Senate seat where he has been a known and effective legislator may be seen by some as a competitive advantage. However, Bradley is poised to face November challengers on the ballot.
Melina Rayna Svanhild Farley-Barratt of Trenton is running as a Democrat. She’s currently the Legislative Director for the Florida Chapter of the National Organization for Women. She has yet to file October fundraising as of last Friday afternoon.
Libertarian Matthew McCary has yet to file October fundraising as of Friday afternoon, but had roughly $200 on hand when September ended.
Senate District 5 covers a broad swath of North Florida, including the whole of Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee and Union counties as well as a piece of western Marion County.
The district has a definite GOP advantage. According to the most-recent statistics from the Florida Division of Elections, about 51% of the district’s voters are registered Republicans while about 29% are registered Democrats.
In 2016, the last time the seat was on the ballot, Bradley didn’t face a challenger. That cycle also saw the district go for President Donald Trump at the top of the ticket by a 3-to-1 margin.
A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for more than two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at email@example.com.