State Sen. Randolph Bracy leads in campaign fundraising for Central FL Congressional seat

By: - July 16, 2021 5:01 pm

State Sen. Randolph Bracy, an Orlando Democrat. Credit: Colin Hackley

Donations from lawyers, lobbyists, political action committees and other individuals have contributed more than $165,000 for State Sen. Randolph Bracy’s campaign for Congress, according to campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission.

In late May, Bracy entered the race in Florida’s 10th Congressional District to replace U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat who’d announced her run for the U.S. Senate. Demings, a former chief of police in Orlando, launched her campaign to unseat Rubio in 2022 via YouTube in June.

Bracy, a Black Democrat representing part of Orange County, has raised about $165,525 and spent around $11,360, FEC data show.

Some of those donors include state Sen. Lauren Book, a Democrat representing part of Broward County and the Democratic Leader in the Florida Senate, and Ronald L. Book, her father, who has been a longtime, well-known lobbyist.

Kenneth E. Hartsaw Jr. also contributed $2,900 to Bracy’s campaign. He is listed as the CEO of Workforce Advantage Academy in Orlando, according to the FEC data.

“I’m proud that 90 percent of our funds were raised here in Florida and that we are setting the early pace for generating support in this race,” Bracy said in a written statement Friday.

“There is a long way to go but I am proud that we are off to such a strong

Sen. Book donated $1,000, while Ronald Book contributed $2,900. A large amount, $101,225, was donated for Bracy’s campaign through ActBlue Technical Services, an online fundraising platform that processes donations for Democrats.

According to its website, the platform acts as a “conduit for individual contributions made through our platform — we do not make contributions ourselves.”

Bracy has been a lawmaker in the Florida House and the Senate. He had considered running for governor in 2022, hoping to become the first Black governor in Florida.  In late March, he created a campaign-like website titled “Bracy for Florida.”

But after Demings made her decision about the U.S. Senate race, Bracy switched to the Congressional race. He said in a written statement at the time: “The real fight for justice and equity is in Washington, D.C. where historic, consequential debates are happening right now.”

Bracy is leading in the race in terms of money against two other Democratic candidates: former state prosecutor Aramis Ayala and civil rights attorney Natalie Jackson. (Other candidates are listed in the race, but as of now, they have no contributions liste, according to the FEC data.)

Ayala has received nearly $74,000 in campaign donations, while Jackson has raised about $51,000.

According to Jackson’s website, she’s an Orlando-based civil trial lawyer and former U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer.

Ayala, also a Black Democrat and lawyer, served one term as the state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, according to POLITICO.

Ayala, “earned statewide attention for her battle against then-Gov. Rick Scott over the death penalty, was initially looking at running for the Senate, but she changed directions after it became clear that Demings planned to run against Rubio,” POLITICO reported.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.