As “the best Democratic pickup opportunity in the country” — dubbed such by New York Times Upshot columnist Nate Cohn last summer — Florida’s 27th Congressional District is among the most competitive in 2018, at least with Democrats.
Since entering the CD 27 race in August, former Knight Foundation Director and Miami Herald reporter Matt Haggman has raised more than $917,000, which his campaign claims is better than any other Democratic challenger running for Congress in Florida this year.
Furthermore, they maintain that his $404,000 haul in the fourth quarter alone was more than any other Florida Democratic incumbent (besides St. Petersburg’s Charlie Crist) and second among all Congressional Democratic challengers in the entire Southeast.
“I’m overwhelmed to have such strong support from the community, and I am proud to be running a campaign powered entirely by people, not PACs,” said Haggman in a statement.
“When voters send me to D.C., they will never have to wonder whether I am casting votes for them or the special interests. Every time, my vote will be cast for the residents of Florida’s 27th Congressional District,” he added.
At this point, note that state Rep. David Richardson began the year with the most money of any Democrat running in CD 27. The Miami Beach Democrat’s campaign coffers had over one million dollars, as well as the most cash on hand with more than $857,000.
However, Richardson’s totals also include a $500,000 campaign loan.
“My campaign’s financial support comes from more than 11,000 individuals who have made 18,000 donations,” Richardson responded. “That is more individual contributions than any candidate in this race, and we have the lowest average contribution of just $27 dollars. That’s $173,000 in low-dollar donations, 4 times as much as Haggman. We can’t have a campaign finance system that is dominated by Wall Street, and the millionaire class. Haggman’s campaign has raised 59% of their total donations, from 140 maxed out donors. That’s a campaign that is funded by the 1%, I’m committed to running a campaign funded by the people.”
Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen held CD 27 for the past 29 years; she announced last year she would not run for re-election in 2018. That led to an explosion of Democrats competing in a district where Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by more than 19 points in 2016.
In addition to Haggman and Richardson, other Democrats in the race include federal judge nominee Mary Barzee Flores, state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, University of Miami academic adviser Michael Hepburn and Miami City Commissioners Ken Russell and Kristen Rosen Gonzalez,