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Both candidates top $400K in Senate battle

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In a race drawing heavy attention from both parties, Republican Keith Perry and Democrat Rod Smith have each raised more than $400,000 in the battle for an open North Florida Senate seat.

Perry, a state House member from Gainesville, raised $16,350 in cash from Aug. 26 through Sept. 2, bringing his overall contribution total to $401,162, according to a finance report posted Friday on the state Division of Elections website.

Perry had nearly $215,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 2.

Also during the recent week-long period, Perry received $45,000 in in-kind support from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is led by incoming Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

That follows a pattern of leaders in both parties providing in-kind aid, such as research and staffing, to Perry and Smith in the race in Senate District 8.

Smith, a former state senator and former chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, raised $14,887 in cash from Aug. 26 to Sept. 2, bringing his overall contribution total to $434,069, according to the Division of Elections website.

Smith had slightly less than $288,000 in cash on hand. District 8 includes Alachua, Putnam and part of Marion counties.