Democrat Annette Taddeo has crossed the six-figure mark in total fundraising for her SD 40 campaign, but the perennial candidate’s spike was overshadowed by another banner campaign finance report from Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz.
The pair are running to take over for former Republican Sen. Frank Artiles, who was pushed out of office in the middle of the 2017 Legislative Session after a racially charged outburst directed at a pair of black senate colleagues.
Diaz’s first report since trouncing Alex Diaz de la Portilla in the Republican Primary shows $242,000 in contributions, putting his campaign well past the $1 million mark in total fundraising. That money was augmented by another $202,579 of “in kind” contributions from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The committee was also his biggest backer monetarily, chipping in with a $50,000 check in early August, though Diaz took in plenty in non-party contributions.
Max donors for the three-week reporting period included Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Anheuser Busch, and Sen. Tom Lee through his political committee, “The Conservative.” Consultant Steve Marin also chipped in alongside his wife and his consulting shop Marin & Sons.
Diaz also spent more than $100,000 between July 21 and Aug. 18, with the lion’s share heading to ad buys and campaign swag. Miami-based DRC Consulting got $60,000 aloe, while Marin got $14,100 for campaign signs and print ads.
On Aug. 18, Diaz’s ledger showed $208,000 on hand.
Taddeo’s report listed $106,552 in contributions, a personal best, for a to-date total of $190,451. The filing also shows $101,071 in spending, leaving her with just under $29,000 in the bank a month out from the Sept. 26 special election.
The Miami Democrat’s campaign for SD 40 bid marks her fourth campaign for elected office in as many years.
In 2014, she was former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist’s running mate in his failed attempt to become return to the office as a Democrat, and in 2016 she fell 51-49 to former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia in the primary race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District. She also lost out in a run for the Miami-Dade County Commission.
Despite the losing streak the Florida Democratic Party isn’t backing down. During the three-week reporting period they shoveled $60,000 into the campaign and topped it off with another $77,000 of “in kind” support, mainly for campaign research and staffing.
Other donors included the Service Employees International Union, Ruth’s List Florida, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham and a political committee tied to Democratic state Rep. David Richardson. Each gave $1,000.
The bulk of Taddeo’s expenditures, about $58,000, went to Chicago-based Snyder Pickerill Media Group for ad buys, likely for her recent TV ad attacking GOP opponent Jose Felix Diaz for his ties to President Donald Trump.
The SD 40 electorate has a fairly even split. Artiles made it into office in 2016 with just over 50 percent of the vote. His main opponent, former Democratic Sen. Dwight Bullard, earned just 40 percent due to no-party candidate Mario Jimenez siphoning away nearly 9 percent of the vote.
A recent poll released by left-leaning D.C. shop Anzalone Liszt Grove Research show Taddeo with a 4 point lead over Diaz, 42-38. The 400-person poll also found her with 16-point lead among no-party affiliation voters.