Sen. Jack Latvala is stepping up to help the Republican Party of Florida, and he’s calling on others to follow his lead.
The Clearwater Republican took to Twitter on Wednesday to say he plans to raise $25,000 to the Florida GOP in both the third and fourth quarter, for a total of $50,000 in the final six months of 2017. Latvala, a prolific fundraiser, then challenged others to match it.
The pledge, and subsequent challenge, comes on the heels of dismal second quarter fundraising numbers for the state party.
State records show the Republican Party of Florida raised $338,942 between April 1 and June 30. The three-month fundraising period pales in comparison to previous fundraising periods by the Republican Party of Florida. The Florida GOP raised more than $4.1 million in the second quarter of 2016; one year earlier it raised more than $1.9 million in the same three-month fundraising period.
State campaign finance records dating back to 1996 show this year’s quarterly numbers are the the lowest in more than two decades. Records show the next lowest fundraising period was Nov. 1, 1996 and Dec. 31, 1996, when the party reported raising $572,531. There were three fundraising periods, state records show, where the state party reported raising no money.
POLITICO Florida reported that after the numbers were released, some party members took aim at Blaise Ingoglia, the party chairman and a Spring Hill state representative. According to the report, party officials encouraged state committee members not to lash out publicly and instead discuss “things like a family.”
On Wednesday, Latvala, who is mulling a 2018 gubernatorial bid, tweeted that Ingoglia called him to ask for money for the state party. After he read the party raised the lowest amount in decades, Latvala wrote that he decided to do his part.
“I’m stepping up,” he tweeted. “$25K this quarter. $25K next quarter. Challenge others to match.”
Latvala’s political committee, Florida Leadership Committee, raised $458,303 between April 1 and June 30. Records show his committee raised $410,649 between June 1 and June 30.