Mike Caruso spends big in June as primary challenger questions his conservative bona fides
Seeking new territory in a newly drawn district, Republican Rep. mike caruso had his biggest spender month yet for this election cycle last month – but his more conservative primary opponent’s fundraising surpassed his in June.
Caruso spent $28,105 on his quest for a third term last month – having averaged around $1,000 in monthly disbursements over the previous 19 months of this election season.
Meanwhile, Jane Justice, a real estate agent he faces in the primary, outscored the incumbent by two terms in her first month as a candidate, if you don’t count Caruso’s in-kind donations from the Florida Republican Party. She attracted $10,506 in donations, in addition to the $9,000 loan she made for her campaign.
Caruso, meanwhile, raised $8,600 in hard cash for his campaign and received $3,750 from the Republican Party through in-kind support. Caruso’s June report also includes a July 1 in-kind donation worth $12,400 from the Republican Party of Florida in a poll.
The redistricting renumbered and moved Caruso’s longtime Delray Beach home to a neighborhood that stretched farther west, making it more Democratic. The new district also included the incumbent Democratic representative. Jim Casello.
In response, Caruso moved north to the new District of House 87, which had no active holder at the time.
Justice, who said she has lived in the neighborhood for decades, calls Caruso a Republican in name only (RINO). She also wonders if the President that of Joe Biden the election victory was legitimate and claims it was ahead of the curve to sound the alarm on school governance and parental rights.
Caruso, remained with the Republican Party on controversial issues such as the ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and the law known as Parental Rights in Education. Critics say the latter measures the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law because it more tightly regulates school discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation.
However, the court points out Caruso’s censorship from the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee as proof that Caruso is not conservative enough. His list among those who support the Democratic candidate Catherine Waldron for House District 93 prompted the vote.
Caruso regrets that his voting record is “100%” in line with Republicans. He said some of his views might be more moderate than his party’s justice segment, but he wants to spend the next two years taming property insurance and inflation.
“People on politics, every time,” he said.
Justice’s June donor list is mostly made up of individual donors, with 20 of the 32 donors listing “retired” as their profession. Palm Beach Patriots, a Palm Beach political committee, donated $800 to his campaign.
His June expenses were for qualifying fees and $560 in advertising paid to Fort Myers’ Florida Weekly newspapers.
That expense left him with $17,163 to spend on his campaign.
Caruso, meanwhile, has a lot more to spend after June’s spending: nearly $70,000.
In June, he received the support of $1,000 donations from Keeping Florida Red, a Tampa political committee; Icon Realty Capital LLC in Delray Beach; IRC Equities 512 LLC in Parkland and a handful of individual donations.
The biggest bills he paid in June included $17,339 to Simwins LLC in Tampa for campaign and consulting services, $2,730 to Mark Graphics in Boca Raton for campaign signs, and $2,264 to Delray Offices. Inc for campaign services.
The newly drawn district which had no incumbent until Caruso moved there, stretches along the coast and stretches from Lantana to Juno Beach, taking parts of Lake Worth Beach, West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.
MCI Maps shows HD 87 voters were evenly split between donald trump and Joe Biden in 2020, with a little more in favor of Trump.
Campaigns faced a Friday deadline for reporting all financial activity through July 31.