Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto raised $116,652 in the fourth quarter of 2017, helping his re-election campaign in Florida’s 9th Congressional District finish the year with $289,378 in the bank.
The relatively modest totals – compared with other Florida congressional incumbents – are nonetheless overwhelming compared with the only other candidate reporting in the race, Republican Wayne Liebnitzky, who says he is not yet focusing on fundraising, and who has raised only about $650, and finished the year with only about $500 in the bank.
CD 9 covers south Orange County, Osceola County, and northeastern Polk County.
If Soto, of Orlando, has need for significantly more money, it might be due to the often-rumored possibility of a primary challenge by the district’s previous representative, former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Windermere. Grayson officially filed to run in Florida’s 11th Congressional District last year, but has repeatedly said that filing is only a place-keeper, to keep his options open while he decides whether and where he might pursue another quest for Congress. His fourth-quarter and annual reports have not yet been posted by the Federal Election Commission. He finished the third quarter with about $500,000 in the bank.
Soto’s end-of-the-year statement reports show he raised a total of $400,000 in 2017, and spent $178,000 of that, including about $50,000 in the fourth quarter.