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Politics / Issues

Democrats Field More Candidates, Keep $2 Million from Republican Party of Florida

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DonkeyHotey

Republicans dominate the Florida Senate -- so much so, that many run unopposed.

But this year, more Democrats are challenging Republicans. The reason is a little-known loophole in campaign finance law.

State senate candidates typically raise hundreds of thousands of dollars.   And when they run unopposed, they can give that money to the state party to use on more competitive races.

But political consultant Peter Schorsch says Democrats have found a way to keep that money out of GOP coffers.

"The Democratic party recruited a series of candidates in several races where Republicans were likely to go unopposed but had large campaign accounts," he said, "signed up a democrat to run in those seats and by doing so froze the funds that were likely to be allocated back to the state Republican party."

Only six Republican candidates out of 40 are running unopposed this year.  That's compared to 13 unopposed Republicans in 2002,  the last reapportionment election year.