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The race to replace Ron DeSantis in Congress cost $5M

Florida’s 6th Congressional District, most recently represented by Ron DeSantis, has become a swing district in the most recent election.

Democrat Nancy Soderberg and Republican Mike Waltz have, between them, raised more than $5 million for this race in the Daytona-centric district. Soderberg alone hauled in more than $3 million.

To the end, the candidates have been raising money. And Waltz especially has had totals worth noticing as the game closes, as he finally cleared the $2 million mark.

Waltz reported $144,000 raised since Oct. 30 alone ($50,000 of it self-financed). This sum pushed him well over the $2 million raised mark, with Jacksonville donors coming through, as did the Committee to Defend the President.

Waltz’s total post-primary haul: just north of $200,000.

Soderberg in just the last 48 hours hauled in $56,150. This wraps a very active post-primary fundraising period, one in which Soderberg raised roughly $190,000.

Donors of late have included potential Congressional colleagues, a sign of Soderberg’s establishment buy-in. Reps. John TierneyNita LoweyAnne-Marie Slaughter gave, along with political action committees, including Rep. Adam Schiff‘s USA-PAC and the political action committee for the National Education Association.

This seat has not been competitive recently: DeSantis, despite jumping back into the race reluctantly after junking his 2016 Senate bid, beat a lightly funded Democrat in 2016 by 16 points (the same number that President Donald Trump won by, as Hillary Clinton floundered in the district).

However, this is a swingier time for the district. So swingy, in fact, that POLITICO Florida reported that Waltz put the kibosh on a Trump rally on his behalf.

There is a reasonable chance that Soderberg could flip the seat, though opinions vary on how realistic that possibility is.

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Democratic consultant Matthew Isbell thought the seat was “likely GOP” in the spring; he has since moved it to the “toss-up” category.

“This race appears to be much tighter in the home stretch … Democratic polls show the race tied (so add a few points to the GOP) and St Pete polls showed a GOP lead of 48-43 in mid-September. I wish we had more polls and the debate for me was Lean R or Tossup. Considering this district once backed Obama and could see a major swingback and Soderberg’s strong campaign, toss-up is my choice,” Isbell wrote.

CNN moved the race from “Likely” to “Lean” Republican on Saturday, citing the importance of outside money for Soderberg down the stretch factoring into heavy TV buys: “The vast majority of the roughly $3.7 million being spent on TV in this district in the final week is coming from Soderberg and her allies — including $2.4 million from Michael Bloomberg‘s Independence USA PAC.”

Real Clear Politics is less enthusiastic about the flip, calling the seat “Likely GOP.” pegs the race as a four-point Waltz win, giving Soderberg a 26 percent chance of winning.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at

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