Linking strategy

Kathy Castor’s challenger James Judge hauls cash in the first qualifying period

James Judge, the final entrant in the congressional race from Tampa’s District 14, set out for a quick start in fundraising, aided by his own money and a contribution from his wife.

Judge, a Coast Guard veteran and owner of a Tampa public relations consulting firm, said he has raised $100,924 since filing in mid-December.

He declared 50 contributions including a personal loan of $25,000 and contributions of the legal maximum of $5,800 each from himself and his wife.

Judge is the latest contestant in a Republican primary, along with Jay Collins and Angel Urbina, to challenge U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor from Florida’s 14th congressional district. [ Castor campaign ]

As of last week, Judge was the only candidate to file a financial report covering the last quarter of 2021.

Through September, Castor said he had raised $335,055; Collins, $110,309 since filing in July; Urbina, $5,125 since June; and Democrat Christopher Bradley, $15,010 since September.

The Republican nominee’s odds against the eight-term congresswoman could hinge on the outcome of the redistricting process in the state Legislature.

District 14 is now a safe Democratic seat. A map proposed by the state Senate would make it a potential swing district, but the one proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis would make it even more heavily Democratic, removing Democratic voters from District 13 in St. Petersburg.