Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene has put another $4.5 million behind his bid to be the Democratic nominee for Governor, bringing his total investment to $18.1 million through just two months in the race.
Greene’s new report, which covers July 21 through July 27, is his biggest yet. The South Florida real estate investor seeded his campaign with $3.6 million when he entered the race at the beginning of June, and has kept up with loans ranging from $1 million to $3.5 million after June 22, when statewide candidates had to begin reporting their hauls on a weekly basis.
The cash infusion came alongside $705 in contributions from 25 small-dollar donors chipping in between $5 and $100 apiece. Greene told Florida Politics shortly after entering the race that he would open the campaign up to donors giving $100 or less so that they could participate in his campaign. To date, donors have chipped in $1,355.
Also included in the report was another $4.6 million in spending, including $3.75 million in media buys and numerous bills for other types of advertising, including a $205,300 direct mail campaign through Jacksonville-based Street Smartz Consulting.
In total, Greene had spent $17.83 million from June 1 through July 27, finishing the current reporting period with $272,206 in his campaign account.
That level of self-funding (and spending) puts him squarely in the No. 2 position, money wise. Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine currently leads the Democratic field with $23.75 million in receipts between his campaign and political committee, All About Florida, including $15 million of his own cash.
In the polls, however, it’s former Congresswoman Gwen Graham who leads the five-way primary contest.
The most recent measure, put out by the Associated Industries of Florida, shows her with 35 percent support among primary voters, followed by “not sure” at 23 percent. Levine and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum each showed up at 14 percent while Greene was the pick for 12 percent in that poll, which left out Orlando-area businessman Chris King.
Greene did show much higher support in a public poll released by St. Pete Polls last week. Graham still led the race with 29 percent support in that survey, but Greene came in second place with 23 percent followed by Levine at 19 percent, Gillum at 12 percent and King at 3 percent.
The primary election will be held Aug. 28. The winner of the Democratic nomination will face either U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis or Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on the November ballot.