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Florida House challengers boost campaign war chests

The money came rolling in last quarter for candidates in two competitive Florida House races.

Daisy Baez, a Democrat who is challenging Republican state Rep. Erik Fresen, raised $53,110 in campaign cash and in-kind contributions, according to state Division of Elections records.

Fresen pulled in $8,150, bringing his total campaign war chest to $59,000.

A third candidate, Amory Bodin, hasn't raised any money, records show.

The three are battling to represent House District 114, which includes parts of Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay.

Baez, an Army veteran and health care administrator, said her campaign had exceeded its fund raising expectations.

“I am honored by the overwhelming support our campaign has received from the community in such a short time frame," she wrote in a statement. "Our campaign is focusing on a positive message, not politics as usual, and a direct conversation with the constituents of District 114."

Fresen is serving his third term in the Florida House. He chairs the Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

The candidates competing to represent House District 112 have also been busy.

Rep. José Javier Rodríguez, a Democrat serving his first term, increased his campaign war chest by $10,405 to a total of about $41,000, records show.

His Republican challenger, attorney Daniel Diaz Leyva, raised $65,530.

The contest between Rodriguez and Diaz Leyva is expected to be among the most competitive in Miami-Dade. Both candidates are young attorneys who are considered rising stars in their respective parties.

District 112 includes Brickell, the Roads, Coconut Grove and parts of Coral Gables and Little Havana.