House District 44 Republican candidate Bruno Portigliatti reported Tuesday that he raised more than $34,000 for his election campaign and an unofficial political committee supporting his run.

Portigliatti, a businessman and president of a Christian university in Orlando, announced Monday that his campaign picked up $10,740 and his affiliated political committee, Liberty and Prosperity Fund, $23,500 in September.

Official campaign finance reports have not yet been posted by the Florida Division of Elections, though they are expected up this week. Through the end of August, Portigliatti’s campaign had about $51,000 in the bank, and the political committee about $15,000.

Portigliatti, of Orlando, is seeking a 2020 election shot at Democratic state Rep. Geraldine Thompson of Orlando in HD 44, which covers southwestern Orange County, including most of Orlando’s tourism corridor.

First he’ll have to win a Republican primary that includes lawyer Frank Blanco from Winter Garden, and lawyer and lobbyist Lee Steinhauer  from Winter Garden. In addition, other potential candidates are reportedly eyeing the contest, including former Republican state Rep. Bobby Olszewski of Winter Garden, whom Thompson unseated in 2018.

Portigliatti’s September haul no doubt was boosted by a campaign kickoff fundraiser he held Sept. 19 at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort, includes former Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, former Orange County mayoral candidate Rob Panepinto, Republican operative and lobbyist Bertica Cabrera Morris, consultant Tre’ Evers, banker and Republican backer Cesar Calvet, and Rosen Resorts lobbyist Michael Spinelli, among others, on the host committee.

Portigliatti ran for the seat in 2017 but lost the Republican primary to Olszewski.


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