The campaign financing for both House District 26 candidates have been slim in the first two weeks of September, with Democrat Patrick Henry raising only $1,000 and Republican Michael Cantu raising nothing.
Henry’s $1,000 came solely from the Florida Standing United PC group, which aims to contribute to the campaigns of candidates it believes can “promote an economical future for Florida and to promote the development of responsible tax and financial policies.” He’s raised $44,000 overall in the campaign thus far.
Cantu has raised $9,000 so far as well as $986 in-kind donations.
Henry has spent $2,500 in the period from Sept. 3 to Sept. 16, adding up to $42,000 overall in the campaign.
Cantu spent $215 in the period from Sept. 3 to Sept. 16, adding up to $6,970 he’s spent overall in the campaign.
If there’s one thing both candidates can agree on, though, it’s that the race for the seat won’t be an easy one.
Henry, a longtime City Council member in Daytona and the brother of Daytona Mayor Derrick Henry, knows he has clout in the area and is glad for the support. But he acknowledged that Cantu, who ran in 2014 for the same office and came within five points of winning, will be a tough challenger.
“I’m not taking him for granted,” Henry said.
Henry said his campaign is focused on being proactive for the citizens of Florida, such as addressing the toxic waste spill in Polk County last week or the Zika epidemic, which he believes the federal government should assist further with.
Similarly, Cantu cited Henry’s roots in the area and connections to the Mayor as reasons why he was trying extra hard to beat him.
“I’m running against the mayor’s brother,” he said. “He can tell people ‘I want my brother to win.’ The Democrats are in power, and they don’t want to see the apple cart overturned.”
Cantu boasted that his campaign is a grassroots, shoestring-budget one, with a focus on expending effort reaching the common folk, especially those who politicians don’t typically visit, rather than courting big donors.
“I’m not financed by the Heads of the Five Families,” he joked. “Some groups that have a lot of money, they put behind candidates who they feel will vote their interests. I went to the outskirts of the district. No one goes out there – they were surprised. I heard that a lot. People want someone in office who cares what they think.”