Sen. Travis Hutson is spending his own money in the final stretch of the GOP Primary in Senate District 7.
Hutson, facing his first Primary battle since the one he won when the seat was open in 2015, loaned his campaign account $90,000 in the week ending Aug. 5.
This was the first money Hutson personally put into this campaign, and it was a necessary move given $114,911 of spending in the same week, with television and mail buys making up most of that spend.
Hutson’s campaign account has just $12,400 on hand, but given his family wealth, another big personal loan or two certainly could be budgeted.
There was no activity during the same week for Hutson’s two primary political committees, First Coast Business Foundation and Sunshine State Conservatives. Each of those accounts has under $20,000 on hand.
Ponte Vedra’s Gerry James is running against Hutson. James, a political newcomer, sees Hutson as a “RINO.” A pro wrestler and pro footballer during the 20th century, he also has done some professional golfing.
He also has run his campaign on a shoestring budget, and the week ending Aug. 5 exemplified that. James raised $3,250, spent $3,348, and ended the week with under $900 cash on hand.
Much of the spending during the week appeared to be for incidentals, including a trip to a Jacksonville Arby’s outside the district for a $13.10 lunch on August 1. He followed that up with a $49.45 spend at another Jacksonville restaurant, Bento Asian Kitchen, the same day. He also gave Moms for Liberty $100 from his campaign account.
Hutson has sailed to victory, garnering over 60% of the vote in his General Elections, a function of representing a safe Republican district. Former President Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden by roughly 20 points in the district in 2020.
The district includes territory in St. Johns, Flagler and Volusia counties.