Republican Bruno Portigliatti reeled in nearly $65,000 for his bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Geraldine Thompson in House District 44.

In a news release, Portigliatti announced raising $51,860 in hard money and another $13,000 for his affiliated political committee, Liberty and Prosperity Fund.

“I am truly grateful for the strong support our campaign has received in such a short amount of time,” he said. “It’s a testament to the level of excitement behind our conservative message of keeping the American Dream alive and making a lasting impact on our community.

“We’re off to a great start and will continue putting together the resources needed to turn House District 44 red again in 2020.”

Portigliatti’s reports show 63 campaign contributions, including 35 for the maximum campaign donation of $1,000. He was his own top donor, pumping $10,000 of his own money into the campaign account.

The committee, meanwhile, brought in its sum from just two donors — the Magic Moment Resort & Kids Club chipped in $10,000 while Joseh White provided the other $3,000.

August was Portigliatti’s first month in the race. At the end of the month, he had $65,827 on hand between the two accounts.

Portigliatti is one of two Republicans seeking HD 44 in 2020. He faces Frank Blanco in the Republican primary. Blanco has not yet reported his August numbers, though he hasn’t posted an receipts since February.

Thompson also hasn’t made a mark on the fundraising trail. At the end of July, she had just $100 in her campaign account.

HD 44 covers western Orange County, including the communities of Winter Garden and Windermere.

The district’s voter registration numbers favor Republicans, though Thompson was able to defeat former GOP Rep. Bobby Olszewski by about two points last year.

Portigliatti, the president of Florida Christian University in Orlando, has run for HD 44 before. In a 2017 special election he took 18 percent of the vote in the four-way Republican primary won by Olszewski.

In his 2020 effort, he has so far netted endorsements from Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz, former Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke and former Orange County mayoral candidate Rob Panepinto.


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