Republican candidate John Newstreet‘s campaign is reporting that it has raised more than $30,000 in the first 11 days since he announced his run for the open seat in Florida House District 44.

Newstreet is reporting a total of $30,576 through the end of May in a news release, though neither he nor the other candidates in that race have to file anything with the state until July 6, more than a week after ballots are sent to military and overseas voters, because of the timetables assigned to the special election.

The Republican primary is set for August 15 to fill the seat vacated by Eric Eisnaugle. Newstreet, an executive with the Kissimmee chamber of commerce, will face former Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski, businessman Bruno Portigliatti, and Dr. Usha Jain. There is one Democrat running, businessman Paul Chandler.

“I’m honored and humbled by the support I have received since announcing my candidacy,” Newstreet stated in the release. “As a first-time candidate, it is encouraging to know so many neighbors, friends, and leaders in District 44 are excited to support me to represent our community.”

Newstreet declared he finds it “unacceptable” that the state is not requiring financial reports until after the first absentee ballots go out. He said he is releasing his May numbers to remain transparent to voters, and he challenged his other opponents to do likewise.

“The legislature was very clear when they passed strict reporting dates in 2013 to provide transparency in elections,” Newstreet stated. “While not required, I believe we have a solemn duty to follow the intent of the law, even if it is not required.

“Any honorable candidate should release their May campaign reports as well,” he added. “We cannot keep voters in the dark in this election.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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