Storms' Supporters

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Storms' financial report is dotted with more than a dozen State Farm agents from

Naples to Tampa who gave varying amounts, totaling nearly $9,000 for

insurance interests.  While it is very common to see big insurance

companies give lots to state candidates, it is far less common to see

the agencies themselves line up in lock-step. One person familiar with

those contributions, who requested anonymity, said agents were

arm-twisted by a company official to give to the controversial county


State Farm supports Alexander,

who recruited Storms to run and who is locked in a struggle to become

president of the Senate in 2010. The Tampa Tribune, for

instance, fingered State Farm as being behind a direct mail attack

against the Senate campaign opponent of Rep. Kim Berfield, another

possible future senator that Alexander wants in his camp.

Another Alexander ally from the citrus industry, the Collier family, also weighed in with thousands for the Storms campaign. Barron Collier III (his family name graces the county to the south of us, around Naples) and the family's CEO, Paul Marinelli, are both on her report. In addition to vast acreage and numerous suburban developments, the Collier family is big in citrus.

While Storms lags opponent Sandy Murman’s $339,000 total raised, she

did have a better first quarter than her Republican rival. And her

total was more than any of her previous county commission campaigns, so

anyone thinking that Storms is getting out of the race or will fall

flat on her face needs to rethink those assessments.

You can get a detailed list of Storms’ contributors here.

(Disclosure: As a political consultant, I ran three campaigns against Storms and ran one campaign for Murman.)

Ronda Storms’ first campaign report for her Florida Senate race is in. She raised nearly $88,000 from a variety of interests, most notably real estate, Big Sugar, the Collier family in Southwest Florida and the insurance industry.

And if you were wondering whether her champion, Sen. J.D. Alexander of Bartow, would actually come to Ronda's financial rescue, her report answers that question in the affirmative.

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