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Unopposed lawmakers carry over cash to 2018

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After running unopposed this year, some state lawmakers are getting a head start on their 2018 re-election bids by carrying over as much as $20,000 in campaign cash.

At least six incumbent lawmakers, along with Plantation Democrat Lauren Book who did not face opposition this year in her first run for the Senate, are using contributions from their 2016 campaigns as seed money for 2018, according to reports posted on the state Division of Elections website.

Book, Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, and Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, have each carried over $20,000.

Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R-Saint Johns, has carried over $10,733; Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, has carried over $10,000; and Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, has carried over $5,100, the reports show.

Unopposed candidates are allowed to carry over up to $20,000 to their next campaigns for the same offices, according to campaign-finance guidelines posted on the state website.

Book and ten incumbent lawmakers have opened 2018 campaign accounts after they did not draw opposition this year.