District 33 State Representative Randy Fine has announced his bid to run for State Senator to replace Senator Debbie Mayfield who has termed-out. Since his January announcement, Fine has been on a social media binge of self-published press releases and paid articles to celebrate his candidacy, while attempting to intimidate any possible opposition.
After a modest first month of fundraising, only bringing in just over $11,000, Fine went all in to hold a high-profile fundraising event at the Brevard Zoo. Fine posted an official host committee flyer, updating it almost daily. The final list had 82 names on it. Of those 82 names for his fundraiser, only 25 of them actually donated money.
In fact, of the $379,825 Fine reports to have raised since January this year, only 11.9% of that money came from citizens who actually live in the District that he is running for. Clearly, individuals and organizations from North and South Florida, as well as across the Country, are much more invested in Fine obtaining this position, than the people he would (or should) be representing. In contrast, in 2020, of Senator Mayfield’s donors, over 80% came form her actual District.
In his most recent press release, Fine states that he has raised $1 million between his campaign account, and his Political Action Committee “Friends of Randy Fine.” What he leaves out in his statement is that $500,000 of that total can be attributed to a loan he made to himself all the way back in 2016.
In fact, almost all of the money that has come into his PAC, has come from other PACs, simply to be moved to another PAC in a campaign finance shell game. Additionally, as we reported before, a large portion of his expenditures happen in Vegas for “entertainment” according to his own reports.
Most of the recent, large contributions he has received, have been from medical organizations and lobbyists who are seeking support of their bills to get through the Health and Human Services Committee which he happens to Chair.
Besides the lack of money from his actual constituents, the most damning list is the lack of actual support from elected Republicans in his District that support or have endorsed him. The most telling is the lack of any support whatsoever from the CURRENT elected State Senators Debbie Mayfield and Tom Wright. In fact, of all of the elected Republican offices in Brevard County, only 3 have come out publicly in support of Fine’s candidacy, including those who have supported him in the past. And it’s not because he isn’t asking; he’s just not getting it.
He has been able to garner some support from a handful of Republicans that hold non-partisan positions in City Councils and the School Board. Unfortunately, as we know from recent history, Fine has a habit of strong-arming lower elected officials for support, or face consequences of withholding funding for city projects as a result. Most notably when he threatened the City of West Melbourne’s funding for flood mitigation in a subdivision, and funding for the Special Olympics because they did not “honor” him, as was revealed in text messages from a public records request.
The most surprising cold shoulder however, comes from the Governor himself. Fine has clearly over-stepped when it comes to his self-proclaimed close relationship to Governor DeSantis. The most embarrassing moment came when Fine infamously tweeted “The Reckoning has arrived” when he thought his budget stripping 12 school districts (including Brevard) of millions of dollars was signed by the Governor. What Fine was left in the dark about was DeSantis signed not the bill, but the veto. After Twitter commenters informed Fine of his “reckoning” finding itself on the cutting room floor, he quickly deleted his tweet, and made no further comments on the issue.
He was then unceremoniously removed from all things Disney/Reedy Creek, after a photo of him later getting onto a Disney cruise went viral. He was nowhere to be found or mentioned when the recent law passed, after being the poster boy initially for the move to disband the special district.
Clearly, Fine has a lot of support, just not from the people who can actually vote for him, nor the Republicans that represent them. The question at hand then is will the pseudo-intimidation of Facebook likes and loaned money work, or will we soon find out who all those elected representatives are holding out their support and dollars for? I think we will find out a lot sooner than later.
I reckon Fine is flounder-ing