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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2017 1 week ago

Fant behind in attorney general fundraising race

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In latest campaign report, Jacksonville lawmaker well behind Ashley Moody.
by: David Cawton Staff Writer

Two months into his campaign to become Florida’s next attorney general, Rep. Jay Fant is behind in the fundraising race. 

Fant, a Jacksonville Republican who represents the 5th district, raised $68,240 through June, according to a campaign finance report filed Monday. 

Another $1,000 went to his committee, Pledge This Day, giving Fant just under $70,000 for the month. 

Since announcing his bid for attorney general May 9, Fant has raised $147,815.

Most of Fant’s contributions have come from North Florida donors. The Citizens for Conservative Leadership and Florida Conservative Alliance committees also donated. 

In May, he received the financial backing of business-focused committees like Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Florida Bankers Association and Beer Distributors for Good Government. 

The 5th District includes southern Duval County and Downtown Jacksonville.

Fant’s only major opponent so far, former Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody, ended the month with $490,622 in contributions.

Her political committee, Friends of Ashley Moody, raised another $113,000. She announced her campaign June 5.

While most of Moody’s contributions are from the Tampa Bay area, she also raised money from Miami, West Palm Beach, Orlando and North Florida. 

The race to be Florida’s next top law enforcement official is expected to become more crowded.

Fant, 49, is serving his second term in the Florida House. He was elected in 2014 in a tight race against Rep. Paul Renner, who now represents the 24th District.

Before his political career, Fant was chairman of Jacksonville-based First Guaranty Bank and Trust Co., which the Florida Office of Financial Regulation closed in 2012. 

When he announced his intentions to run in May, he acknowledged he is not well-known outside of North Florida. He said he would “have to hoof it” to improve his profile.

Attorney General Pam Bondi is term-limited and has yet to back any candidate. 

The election is Nov. 6, 2018. 

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