Representative Geraldine Thompson is off to a slow start in her bid for reelection in Florida House District 44. The long time member of the House has two opponents, both Republicans, attempting to unseat her.
But Thompson has stumbled out of the gate. She has raised just about $16,000 since filing in February of last year. Thompson’s best month came in November of 2019 where she raised over $12,000 with $4,000 of that number being in-kind.
While Thompson doesn’t need a lot of money to win, she will have to increase her fundraising prowess once the Florida Legislative Session is over (Florida legislators are barred from raising money during session).
On the other side, Republican Bruno Portigliatti has started fast. He filed to run in August last year and has already raised $79,000. His first month on the trail, Portigliatti pulled in an impressive $51,000 and he’s been on fire ever since.
He also has an added advantage of not being a legislator strapped to Tallahassee: he can still fundraise.
So, what sets him apart from Rep. Thompson? Besides being a Republican, he has some of the same business connections as Thompson. Hotelier Harris Rosen has donated to Portigliatti as well as Massey Services.
Is that enough for him to beat Thompson? Maybe but it certainly shows he has the chops to mount a strong challenge.
As far as Thompson goes, she definitely doesn’t want to go out after one term. And while the District isn’t like the one she formerly represented, she still knows the lay of the land. Thompson usually wins, and has proven time and time again that she is an expert at campaigning.
Thompson’s last and only loss was to Congresswoman Val Demings. She’ll have to fight just as hard as she did against Demings if she is to continue representing District 44.