Charlie Crist is reporting more than $717,000 raised in the first quarter of 2017, a record-breaking amount for any freshman lawmaker during the first months in office.
“I’m humbled by this historic outpouring of early support and honored that so many people are rallying behind the people of Pinellas County,” Crist said in a statement. “This is a part of the country that believes in bipartisanship and making sure Washington is accountable to the people. I’m doing everything I can to amplify that sentiment.”
Crist now has $672,083 cash-on-hand.
In his first few weeks in Washington, the St. Petersburg Democrat stumbled out of the gate, including missing a vote condemning a UN Security Council resolution aimed at Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
But he’s since found his footing, and won raves from his constituents after hosting a four-hour town hall meeting in St. Petersburg last month.
He’s also held a number of fundraisers in his short time in office.
But raising more than three-quarters of a million dollars in a non-election year is definitely an achievement for any congressional incumbent, much less one in just his first three months of his term in office.
In that respect, Crist is the antithesis of the man he vanquished in the Congressional District 13 race last fall, David Jolly.
Jolly was not known to enjoy fundraising and wasn’t considered very good at it. One of his signature pieces of legislation he proposed during his time in Congress was the STOP Act, which would have banned federal office holders (like Crist) from raising money in office.
While the bill received plenty of media attention, it went nowhere in the House of Representatives.