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Pair of GOP primary races in Miami fast becoming expensive


The son of a Congressman and a former Congressman are helping raise the price of running for the Florida Legislature in 2018.

Already two races for Florida House seats in 2018 have surpassed a quarter million dollars raised with promises of much more to come.

Florida Division of Election’s records show the most expensive race is shaping up to be a contest in Bradenton and part of Sarasota. James Buchanan, the son of car dealership owner and U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, and Will Robinson, a real estate attorney with deep family roots in Manatee County, have already combined to amass more than $350,000 in their anticipated Republican Primary battle for House District 71.

Robinson has given his campaign $100,000, with another $100,000 raised just since March 14. James Buchanan has raised more than $155,000 with more than $16,000 of that coming from Vern Buchanan and business entities with ties to the Congressman.

That district is currently represented by State Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits. The race also includes Randy Cooper, a Democrat.

In Miami, former U.S. Rep. David Rivera’s bid to return to elected office is making the race for District 105 a pricey race. Rivera has already put $200,000 of his own money into the race. Doral city council member Ana Maria Rodriguez, also a Republican, has also filed to run for the seat. She has raised more than $51,000.

Rodriguez and Rivera are looking to replace Florida House Appropriations Chairman Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami. That district includes parts of Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties.

In another Miami district, two Republicans have combined to make District 116 the third most expensive race so far. Republicans Jose Miguel Mallea and Daniel Anthony Perez have both filed for District 116, currently held by Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a Republican who is expected to leave the House later this year.

Top 3 most expensive House Seats for 2018

$364,005 - District 71 - Republicans James Buchanan and Will Robinson, Democrat Randy Cooper  

$262,275 - District 105 - Republicans David Rivera and Ana Maria Rodriguez

$140,940 - District 116 - Republican Jose Miguel Mallea and Daniel Anthony Perez