State Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, has announced she raised $353,027 in her first month as a candidate for Congress, but the race for the congressional seat remains muddled because district lines haven’t been finalized.
Toledo, of south Tampa, has filed as a candidate for District 15, a new district expected to be drawn in northeastern Hillsborough County, possibly including parts of Pasco, Polk or Lake counties.
But Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed the state Legislature’s proposed map of new congressional districts, and a special session this month is expected to produce a new map.
Former Republican U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross of Lakeland has also filed for the district, as have several other candidates of both parties.
Local GOP insiders speculate that other prominent Republicans could file if the new district leans Republican. Names mentioned include state Sen. Danny Burgess of Zephyrhills and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco of Land O’ Lakes, but neither has responded to text and phone messages seeking comment.
At least two prominent local Democrats, Alan Cohn and Sean Shaw, have said they’re interested in running if the district ends up Democrat-friendly.
Ross who opened his campaign account March 21, acknowledged Toledo’s fundraising was “a healthy total,” and said he also got off to a good start but didn’t have figures available yet. He said he started from scratch, having closed out his former campaign account when he left office two years ago.