On Monday, Frank White became the first Republican candidate for Attorney General to say he won’t use taxpayer money for his campaign.
In a statement Monday, White blasted the practice as “perhaps one of the most ridiculous ways our state government wastes money,” and challenged opponents Jay Fant and Ashley Moody to follow his lead.
“Currently,” White noted, “the state offers statewide candidates in Florida taxpayer funds for their political campaigns which has cost many millions of dollars in the past years.”
“Right now our state has far more meaningful things it can do with these dollars; such as fund more law enforcement or teacher positions, combat the opioid crisis, or return tax dollars back to the hard working families and business owners who provide this money to government In the first place. It’s time to demonstrate real restraint and show taxpayers that wasteful use of their money for political campaigns is over,” White added.
White offered a “pledge to reject all public funding in my campaign to be Florida’s next Attorney General.” vowing to “work within the legislature to dismantle this program going forward so that we can protect taxpayer resources.”
“Furthermore,” White adds, “I invite Representative Fant, Judge Moody, and all other future candidates for this office to join me by pledging to reject all public, taxpayer funding for their political operations in this race.”
In his first month of fundraising, White immediately took the money lead in what is a deep-pocketed race for Attorney General.
In the race just 17 days before the end of October, White brought in $1.682 million between his campaign and committee — receipts that put him over both Ashley Moody (who has roughly $1.1 million on hand between her campaign and committee) and Jay Fant (who has just over $900,000).
$1.5 million of White’s haul was a personal contribution to his own campaign; he has roughly $1.75 million on hand.
Now the question becomes one of whether Moody and Fant will follow his commitment to eschew taxpayer funding.
What’s clear: they all can afford to.