Jessica Baker dominates HD 17 cash race

The one-sided fundraising battle continues in the Republican Primary in Jacksonville’s House District 17.

Jessica Baker, an Assistant State Attorney in Florida’s 7th Circuit, enjoys a solid financial advantage, with nearly $195,000 cash on hand through Aug. 5 between her campaign account and her political committee, Friends of Jessica Baker.

She raised just over $6,000 in the week, with $5,000 coming from accounts associated with U.S. Sugar. Meanwhile, she continues to spend heavily, deploying more than $55,000 from the two accounts in the same week, with most of the spend on media buys.

Baker has raised more than $570,000 for her campaign thus far, and has collected the bulk of establishment endorsements in this race.

Baker’s opponent, Christina Meredith, has had a more difficult time getting traction thus far.

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Between her Fostering American Leadership political committee and her campaign account, Meredith had a little more than $22,000 on hand as of Aug. 5, after raising just $1,870 that week between the two accounts, and spending just over $5,000 total in that week.

None of that spend went to a new ad buy. The biggest expense, nearly $3,400, went for website management.

The initial momentum behind the Meredith campaign seemed to be rooted in people opposed to not only Jessica Baker, but her husband, political consultant Tim Baker.

To that end, Robin Lumb, the city’s recently retired policy adviser, took over the Meredith campaign weeks ago on a volunteer basis.

“Christina Meredith is one of the best candidates I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. She’s a woman of character, principle, and determination. She’ll be an outstanding state Representative,” Lumb, a former Jacksonville City Councilman and chair of the Duval County Republican Party, said last month.

Regardless of whether Baker or Meredith ultimately prevails, a General Election opponent awaits. The winner of this Primary will face Democrat Michael Anderson in a General Election in a district that went for Ron DeSantis in 2018.

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