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Keechl raises big bucks in county race

Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl says he has raised about $307,000 for his re-election next year -- a huge sum considering the Democrat doesn't officially have an opponent. None of that is a loan.

The most recent quarter includes a fundraiser hosted by some bigshot Republicans including Bill Scherer, Jim Blosser and Justin Sayfie. Wayne Huizenga dropped by, says Keechl, and Scott Rothstein also wrote the Democrat a check.

County Republican Party Chair Chip LaMarca says Keechl is funding his campaign ''with a lot of downtown business people and developers he campaigned against his first term.''

LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point commissioner, said he hasn't ruled out a bid himself and isn't intimidated by Keechl's cash, but he sounds less enthusiastic about the prospect of running than he did a few months ago. Previously LaMarca said he'd decide by the summer, now he says sometime this year. And he says the District 91 race isn't his main focus and that he doesn't feel he could run for that seat and continue his party chair gig.

Keechl, the current vice mayor, will have key visibility during his campaign next year because his peers will likely choose him as mayor.

Fundraising reports through June are due by July 10.