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Senate president in waiting takes in big money

Sen. Jeff Atwater, next-in-line to become Senate President, has an amazing fundraising quarter. Not all third-quarter reports are in, but the North Palm Beach Republican reported collecting a jaw-dropping $208,251 in three months. That's not shabby considering it was all in donations of $500 or less.

A big chunk of money for Atwater's 2008 re-election campaign came from Florida auto dealers. Auto dealers from across the state gave Atwater $41,000 in this last quarter. Other donations came from many of the main Tallahassee sources, including those in the professional lobbying corps.

Others who had a big quarter: Sen. J.D. Alexander collected $92,000, Sen. Mike Fasano collected $118,825, Sen. Charlie Dean reported taking in more than $93,000. Sen. Evelyn Lynn, however, did even better than that, taking in more than $136,000.

Among House members: Rep. Dean Cannon, who is set to become House speaker in 2010, reported receiving $121,210. Hosue Majority Leader Adam Hasner collected nearly $54,000, while former FSU football player and House candidate Peter Boulware took in more than $51,000. Deborah Mayfield, the wife of Rep. Stan Mayfield who is running for his seat, reported receiving $71,200 in this quarter.

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