Report: Stargel to post quarter-million dollar CD15 campaign haul; qualifies for RPOF debate

by | Jul 13, 2022

  • State Senator Kelli Stargel, a candidate for the 15th Congressional District, will announce she has raised more than $253,000 in the 2nd quarter qualifying period
  • The amount surpasses the $100,000 threshold set by the Republican Party of Florida and qualifies her as a participant in the 2022 Sunshine Summit debate
  • Six candidates are on the CD15 ballot, but Stargel is the first to publicly release fundraising numbers
  • The July 22-23 Sunshine Summit will feature four debates, including CD15, as well as high profile conservatives, including elected officials, television and radio personalities, authors and more

In a crowded GOP primary in Florida’s redrawn 15th Congressional District, conservative State Senator Kelli Stargel is expected to post campaign contributions exceeding $253,000 during the 2nd quarter reporting period, according to a Stargel campaign source. That number is significant because it easily surpasses the threshold set by the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) and qualifies Stargel as a participant in the 2022 Sunshine Summit debate set for July 23rd.

With six candidates on the CD15 GOP primary ballot in August, Republican debate organizers announced a qualification standard that could exclude several of the candidates who aren’t getting traction in the race, allowing the event to focus more deeply on likely frontrunners like Stargel, who has a long track record of conservative leadership representing Lakeland and the surrounding area as a member of the Florida Senate and House since 2008.

Fundraising numbers for each campaign aren’t officially released by the state until Friday, but RPOF rules require public reporting of at least $100,000 in contributions by July 13, 2022, or polling at 5 percent or greater in a poll conducted by RPOF by the same date. Stargel’s haul would easily qualify her under RPOF rules.

It’s not clear what other candidates, if any, qualified for the debate. Messages to the RPOF were not immediately returned.

According to RPOF’s website, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party of Florida invited all qualified Republican candidates in Florida congressional districts 4, 7, 13, and 15 to participate in respective Republican primary debates. The Sunshine Summit event will also include a number of big names in GOP circles, including radio personality Mark Levin, Fox News reporter Lisa Boothe, conservative author Molllie Hemingway, conservative writing and economic expert Stephen Moore, and more, including several members of Florida’s GOP congressional delegation. DeSantis and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio will be featured speakers at the event’s dinner on Saturday, July 23rd.



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