The summer months don’t appear to be slowing down several candidates vying to replace Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in 2018.
Three Republicans — Sen. Denise Grimsley, Rep. Matt Caldwell, and former Rep. Baxter Troutman — are expected to report they raised more for their political committees in July than they did in the previous month.
The Division of Elections deadline for reporting July fundraising numbers is August 10. As of Monday evening, none of the candidates have posted fundraising information for their official campaigns or affiliated political committees to the state website. However, rolling campaign finance data posted to their political committees’ websites offers a glimpse into their July fundraising efforts.
Contribution data posted to the Friends of Matt Caldwell website shows Caldwell raised about $65,000 for his political committee in July.
The single largest contributor during the one-month period was the Florida Prosperity Fund, which gave Caldwell’s committee $25,000. State records show Caldwell’s committee raised $801,094 through the end of June, and ended June with $616,878 cash on hand.
Contribution data posted to the Saving Florida’s Heartland website shows Grimsley raised $49,000 in July. That’s up from one-month early, when state records show Grimsley’s political committee raised $20,000.
The single largest contributor during the one-month period was Floridians United for Our Children’s Future, which gave Grimsley’s committee $25,000. State records show Grimsley’s committee raised more than $1 million through June 30, and ended June with $419,753 cash on hand.
Troutman is expected to report bringing in a combined $25,000 for his official campaign and his political committee, iGrow, in July.
The 50-year-old Winter Haven resident put $2.5 million of his own money into his official campaign account when he entered the race in June, immediately giving him front-runner status.
Brian Hughes, a spokesman for the Troutman campaign, said that fundraising lead allowed Troutman to spend the month of July building up grassroots support. The team plans to kick-off his fundraising efforts this month, which puts them one year out from the Republican primary. Troutman has brought on Kevin Hofmann, who has worked with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Rep. John Rutherford to help with his fundraising efforts.
Republican Paul Paulson and Democrat Michael Damian Christine are also running.