Democrat Lauren Baer announced Wednesday she raised more than $450,000 in the first three months of the year for her campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.
Baer’s campaign said the first-quarter report brings her to-date fundraising total past the $1 million mark. She finished 2017 with $584,000 raised and $414,000 in the bank.
“We are so grateful for the grassroots support we’ve received throughout this campaign,” Baer said. “To the literally thousands of people who have donated, thank you. I pledged back in February not to accept money from corporate PACs, and I am proud that not one dollar has come from their coffers. This campaign will always be about representing FL-18 voters, not special interests, and I look forward to working hard for them every day.”
The announcement didn’t reveal Baer’s cash on hand total or her spending during the first quarter. She said on Feb. 19 that she would not accept money from corporate PACs.
Baer is running against former Navy JAG attorney Pam Keith in the CD 18 Democratic Primary. Neither Keith nor Mast have released their Q1 totals.
At the end of 2017, Keith had raised $254,000 and had $56,000 on hand while Mast had raised $2 million and had more than $1 million of that money in his campaign account.
University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s “Crystal Ball” currently lists CD 18 as “likely Republican” in the fall.
Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy held the seat for the two terms before vacating it to run for U.S. Senate in 2016. Mast defeated Democratic nominee Randy Perkins by 10 points in 2016, while the district voted plus-9 for Donald Trump.