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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Shaw campaign tops $100,000 in bid to replace Rep. Reed

TALLAHASSEE — Sean Shaw, an attorney and former state insurance consumer advocate, has passed the $100,000 mark in campaign contributions in his bid for state Rep. Betty Reed’s House seat representing Tampa.

Shaw, a Democrat, raised $36,551 in the third fundraising quarter of this year, bringing his total to $101,126, according to records accessed Friday on the Division of Elections’ website.

That includes a $500 check from Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor and would-be Democratic challenger to Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.

The two met at a Tampa Bay-area political event, Shaw said, where he asked for Crist’s support.

“He just told me to go win it,” Shaw told The Tampa Tribune.

His closest competitor, Edwin Aubron Narain, raised $19,611 this past quarter, for a total of $39,146, records show.

“I’m a first time candidate; he knows where to raise money across the state,” said Narain, an area manager for AT&T. “But 75 percent of my contributions are local, so I think I have the advantage.”

The other two contenders for House District 61, Sharon Carter and Tatiana M. Denson, have a combined total of a little more than $3,000.

No Republicans have yet entered the race in the heavily Democratic district that includes East Tampa, Seminole Heights, West Tampa and Ybor City.

“It was hard work and having a lot of people believe I’m the best person to go to Tallahassee and represent the district,” Shaw said. “We’re doing our best to get out into the community and meet people and really listen to their concerns.”

Reed, also a Democrat and a retired educator, was first elected in 2006 and faces term limits. She has not endorsed a successor, her legislative aide said.

Shaw, who moved to Tampa to join the Merlin Law Group in late 2011, has stressed his state government background.

He served as insurance consumer advocate in 2008-10, then left the position to help his then-boss, former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, in her run for governor.

Many of Shaw’s contributors list their occupation as “attorney” or “public adjuster,” individuals licensed by the state to advocate for policyholders in insurance claims.

As a candidate, Shaw says he’s focused on job creation and affordable health care, reducing the prison population and the high-school dropout rate. He also founded Policyholders of Florida, a statewide consumer advocacy group.

Shaw is the son of retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Leander J. Shaw Jr., the state’s first black chief justice. Sean Shaw graduated from Princeton University and got his law degree from the University of Florida.

He grew up in Tallahassee; in 2008, he ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the seat now held by state Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee.

The Tampa district he’s running for is nearly 54 percent black and 22 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to House records. The primary election is Aug. 26 and the general election is Nov. 4.

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