fundraising Archives - Page 3 of 55 - Florida Politics

Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis have each hauled in more than $16M following primary

The polls are close, and so is the money chase between the top two candidates running for Florida Governor.

Democrat Andrew Gillum has raised $16.4 million between his campaign and committee accounts since the week of his upset primary victory in August. That sum includes the $3 million investment into his campaign from the Democratic Governors Association, which announced on Friday it’s putting another $1 million behind the Tallahassee Mayor’s bid for the Governor’s Mansion.

Republican Ron DeSantis has raked in nearly $12.4 million through his campaign and committee accounts, although he’s also directly benefiting from another committee, Florida Facts. The Republican Governors Association is in part funneling its support to DeSantis through Florida Facts, which has raised just more than $4 million since the primary.

According to POLITICO, RGA has said it will spend up to $10 million backing the former congressman. Last week, the group donated $1 million to DeSantis’ PAC, Friends of Ron DeSantis, bringing their total post-primary investment to just more than $5 million. In the final weeks approaching the election, RGA had put $2.4 million into the committee, although all but $100,000 of that was spent ahead of the Aug. 28 election.

If the money in Florida Facts — which has run a series of televised attack ads against Gillum — is accounted, DeSantis leads Gillum by less than $50,000 in fundraising since the Aug. 28 primary. Otherwise, Gillum through his campaign and committee has outraised DeSantis by more than $4 million. 

Beyond the DGA, union interests recently topped Gillum’s donor list. Last week, two $750,000 donations came from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, and the American Federation of Teachers. Two $250,000 checks came from Everytown for Gun Safety and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. The Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union, chipped in $100,000.

Most recently, DeSantis’ primary committee was floated by a $250,000 check from Spring Bay Capital, a Ponte Vedra-based investment firm. DeSantis also received $100,000 contributions from construction, pilot and beverage interests.

Some early polling of the race has been generous to Gillum, consistently putting him ahead of DeSantis. But as the state edges closer to Election Day, the latest surveys indicate the race is tied, or very close.

Lauren Baer brings in $1.6M in latest fundraising period

The Lauren Baer campaign announced Friday it had raised more than $1.6 million in the third quarter of 2018.

That means her campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast has pulled in more than $3 million since launch.

Baer defeated former navy JAG Pam Keith to become the Democratic candidate in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

“While traveling our great district over the past year, I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible support this campaign has received,” Baer said.

“As we near the finish line I want to give my sincere thanks to everyone who has supported our effort by knocking on doors, donating, phone banking, and registering voters. This campaign is about working hard for every American, not special interests, and together, we’re going to win big in November.”

Baer did have a large cash-on-hand deficit to make up as of the previous reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Those numbers showed Baer with about half of Mast’s total of $1.8 million available. It’s not clear how much, if any, of that gap has been closed for the campaign’s final month. Mast’s third quarter numbers have not yet been posted by the FEC.

Baer’s campaign recently released a poll showing her within striking distance of Mast. She’s also received endorsements in the last few weeks from former Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State John Kerry.

However, elections analysts agree that this district remains in the “likely Republican” category for now.

Vern Buchanan campaign raises another $500K for re-election bid

The Vern Buchanan campaign announced it would be reporting a haul of $500,000 raised during the third quarter. That would leave the campaign’s cash on hand at more than $1.4 million.

Buchanan, the Republican incumbent in Florida’s 16th Congressional District, has kept up a cash lead over his Democratic challenger, David Shapiro. It’s not clear where Shapiro stands against Buchanan’s updated numbers. The reports are not due to the Federal Election Commission until later this month.

Shapiro did manage to outraise Buchanan in the previous reporting period. However, Shapiro may have been aided by his competition in the Democratic primary against Jan Schneider. Buchanan was unopposed on the Republican side.

If Buchanan can hold onto his fundraising lead, that would leave him sitting pretty as we approach Election Day on Nov. 6. A recent pair of polls have shown Buchanan with a sizable lead against Shapiro. Add in a money advantage and it would be an uphill climb to unseat the incumbent.

The two candidates have recently traded barbs in dueling ads over recent red tide outbreaks. Buchanan’s spot touted his work on combating the crisis, while Shapiro hit him for not doing enough.

Amendment 2 Art (3)

Florida Realtors dump more cash into Amendment 2

The state’s largest professional association, the Florida Realtors, ponied up another half million dollars to support one of the property tax measures that will be on the November ballot.

Amendment 2 would make instill a permanent tax cap on annual assessments for non-homesteaded properties, excluding school taxes. Voters approved a measure a decade ago current that limited property assessment increases to 10 percent a year, but that is set to expire in 2019. Amendment 2 would make that measure permanent.

The cash infusion from Florida Realtors was the only receipt on the most recent finance report for Amendment 2 is for Everybody, the principal political committee backing the ballot amendment. The committee also shelled out more than $435,000 for the beginning Sept. 22, with nearly all of that money paying for an ad buy through Denver-based Access Marketing.

The Florida Realtors have now put more than $6 million into the committee’s coffers and are the source of all but $100 of its overall fundraising. Amendment 2 is for Everybody completed the reporting period with about $387,000 in the bank.

Supporters have pushed the measure has having “no catch,” saying that a vote for Amendment 2 “avoids a three-fourths of a billion-dollar tax increase,”

A recent poll commissioned by the Florida Chamber of Commerce showed about half of Florida voters were firm supporters of Amendment 2 while 25 percent were firmly opposed.

The remaining 24 percent were unsure, giving the amendment’s backers plenty of wiggle room to hit the required 60 percent threshold to make the state constitution.

Outside spending tops $25 million in Florida’s U.S. Senate contest

Outside spending has exceeded $25 million already in Florida’s U.S. Senate race, with Democratic groups behind U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson outspending Republican groups behind Gov. Rick Scott by a margin of three dollars to two so far.

According to the latest outside expenditure reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission, covering campaign expenses running through last Friday, almost all the outside money coming to Scott’s aid is from the super political action committee he set up to help his election, the New Republican PAC. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce pitched in some last spring, and another five groups have contributed small amounts, mainly for ground-game support.

It’s a different picture on the Democratic side, where three national PACs already have spent well into seven figures, a union PAC is approaching $1 million, and four other PACs are well into six figures, either campaigning for Nelson’s re-election or in opposing a U.S. Senate quest by Scott.

The result: so far outside groups have spent $15.2 million on Nelson’s side, and $10.3 million on Scott’s side.

Leading the charge so far for Nelson’s re-election is the Senate Majority PAC, controlled by the U.S. Senate’s Democratic leadership. They want Nelson back, and through last Friday the PAC had spent $6.5 million on various media buys, mainly television. Their TV commercials have been on Florida airwaves since last spring, and on Tuesday the group announced its latest spot.

The Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, founded by a couple of President Barack Obama‘s former advisors, has spent $4.3 million, mainly on digital advertising, much of that in coordination with Senate Majority PAC efforts. Majority Forward, a super PAC affiliated with the Senate Majority PAC, has spent $1.8 million, mainly on television advertising. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees PAC has spent $972,000 on a variety of items including a TV commercial, canvassing, and mailers.

Four other Democratic PACSs, For Our Future, Win Justice, United We Can, and the Service Employees International Union’s SEIU COPE each has spent between a quarter million dollars and a half-million on such things as ground-game staff, canvassing and mailers. Five other groups have each provided less than $100,000 apiece for similar efforts.

On Scott’s side, the New Republican PAC, which he left before declaring his candidacy, has spent $9.4 million on media placement, mainly television commercials. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent $750,000 on media, though that all was spent in April, timed with the kick-off of Scott’s campaign. Three groups associated with Americans For Prosperity have reported a combined $120,000 in expenses, almost entirely for staffing a ground-game in Florida. Four other groups have provided less than $100,000.

If it looks like most of the outside spending is going into attacks, that is true.

The Republican PACs’ FEC filings indicate that more than $9.9 million of the $10.4 million they’ve spent on Florida’s U.S. Senate race was explicitly spent to oppose Nelson.

The Democratic PACs indicate that $6 million of the money $15.3 million they’ve spent was explicitly spent to oppose Scott.

That’s a total of nearly $16 million in attack ads and other opposition activity.

Of the positive advertising and activities, the Democrats groups have reported $9.2 million in expenses to support Nelson, while Republican groups have reported only $414,000 in support of Scott. Most of the pro-Scott spending was done by the U.S. Chamber, with some by Club for Growth and the Susan B. Anthony List. That’s a total of $9.6 million in positive ads and related support activity.

Kayser Enneking

Kayser Enneking bounces back in SD 8 money race

Gainesville Democrat Kayser Enneking bested Republican Sen. Keith Perry for the second reporting cycle in a row in the race for Alachua County-based Senate District 8.

Enneking, a physician, raked in nearly $51,000 in hard money during the first two weeks of September, replenishing her campaign account after a primary battle that became costly in the final weeks of August.

The weekly reports covering the same stretch for her affiliated political committee, Florida Knows Excellence, saw it tack on another $33,500. Adding in the $84,000 in receipts between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14 brings Enneking’s overall fundraising total to $644,000.

Donors of note include Fort Lauderdale Sen. Gary Farmer, who provided another $25,000 in support via his Floridians for Ethics, Accountability and Responsibility committee and $2,500 from Avera & Smith, the law firm of 2016 SD 8 Democratic nominee Rod Smith, a former state Senator and FDP chair.

Spending far outstripped fundraising, however, with a slate of broadcast, cable and digital media buys eating away $160,000 in campaign funds. Enneking also funneled another $50,000 in committee cash to the Sen. Audrey Gibson-chaired Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

The two accounts had a combined $130,000 banked on Sept. 14.

Perry’s early September haul measured in at $53,350, with $29,350 in receipts heading to his campaign account and the remaining $24,000 collected through his political committee, Building a Prosperous Florida.

His donor sheet included a pair of $10,000 checks from a political committee tied to state Rep. Ben Albritton, who is set to cruise in his bid to succeed Sebring Sen. Denise Grimsley in SD 26. Also checking in was Working Together For Florida PAC, the fundraising arm of Naples Sen. Kathleen Passidomo.

Perry spent about $30,000 during the two-week reporting period, with the bulk of those funds paying for campaign staffers and a handful of event sponsorships.

SD 8 covers all of Alachua and Putnam counties as well as the northern half of Marion County. It is one of a handful of districts that became more favorable to Democrats after the Senate map was redrawn ahead of the 2016 elections.

Despite Democrats holding an 8-point lead in voter registrations in the redrawn district, Perry scored a comfortable victory two years ago as the seat was narrowly carried by President Donald Trump.

A recent poll of the race found Perry up 49-38 percent over Enneking, though much of that gap was attributable to her comparatively weak showing among the Democratic base, which is expected to improve before the Nov. 6 general election.

That poll also found former Gainesville City Commissioner Charles Goston pulling 5 percent support for his unaffiliated run despite his lack of on-the-ground campaigning for the job.

David Perez SD 36

David Perez puts a dent in Manny Diaz’s fundraising advantage

Hialeah Republican Rep. Manny Diaz has been piling on the cash for his Senate District 36 campaign for the better part of two years, but Democratic nominee David Perez has chipped away at that lead in the sprint toward Election Day.

Campaign finance reports for the first half of September show Perez brought in $19,185 in hard money with an additional $50,000 heading to his affiliated political committee, Floridians for Change. That performance laps Diaz’s efforts and then some.

The third-term lawmaker added $12,600 in campaign funds between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14, with his Better Florida Education committee receiving $17,000 during the same stretch.

Perez’s early September spending clocked in at more than $100,000, including about $47,000 in ad buys and another $45,000 in committee cash funneled to the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, a Florida Democratic Party affiliated committee that supports state Senate campaigns.

Diaz showed half as much spending in his reports, with a $20,000 social media ad buy via Campaign Precision topping the list of outgoing funds.

To date, Diaz has a massive advantage in both overall fundraising and cash on hand. He has raised $500,000 in campaign funds and has $192,000 banked while his committee, which predates his Senate bid, had $84,000 at the ready on Sept. 14.

Perez, meanwhile, has raised a combined $356,000 and had about $105,000 left to spend through the same date.

SD 36 is currently held by term-limited Republican Sen. Rene Garcia, who has endorsed Diaz as his successor. The district covers an inland portion of northern Miami-Dade County including Miami Lakes, Hialeah, and Miami Springs.

SD 36 is one of only two Republican-held seats being targeted by Florida Democrats this cycle that voted for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton two years ago, and it did so by a much wider margin than in Tampa-based SD 18, where House Minority Leader Janet Cruz is challenging Republican Sen. Dana Young.

Clinton won the majority Hispanic district by 14 points, though Garcia won re-election over underfunded Democratic challenger Anabella Grohoski Peralta 55-45 percent.

Mike La Rosa’s war chest continues to overwhelm Barbara Cady’s campaign finances

Republican state Rep. Mike La Rosa added another $10,000 to his campaign’s fund in the first two weeks of September pushing his total raised near $200,000 for his House District 42 re-election effort while his Democratic opponent Barbara Cady dropped further behind in the money chase.

La Rosa, of St. Cloud, enters the post-primary period with more than $83,000 in hand and a fundraising arm that continues to attract big checks to support him.

In the latest campaign finance reports posted by the Florida Division of Elections last Friday, Cady, of Kissimmee, reported raising $2,188 in the two-week period ending Sept. 14. That brought her total raised to $47,500, and she reported having about $27,000 of that left to spend.

The two are battling for HD 42, covering most of Osceola County except the county’s northwest corner, which includes much of Kissimmee. HD 42 also covers part of southeast Polk County.

All of La Rosa’s money in his most recent report came from $500 or $1,000 checks from political action committees or companies such as Duke Energy, TECO Energy, the Florida Home Builders Association, and the Florida Bankers Association. That continues a pattern going back into July, which was the last time he received a donation from an individual.

Cady’s campaign drew all of its most recent haul through 20 checks, all from individuals.

Cord Byrd, Clay Yarborough maintain fundraising leads in re-election bids

Freshmen Jacksonville-area Republican state Reps. Cord Byrd and Clay Yarborough continued to maintain strong cash leads over their Democratic challengers through the first half of September.

Byrd, whose majority-Republican House District 11 includes coastal Duval and all of Nassau County, brought in $3,500 of new money between Sept. 1 and 14, pushing his campaign account near $42,000 on hand. TECO and the Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters were among the donors.

Byrd also has nearly $10,000 in his 1845 political committee.

His general election opponent, Nathcelly Rohrbaugh, mostly kept pace with Byrd when it came to early September receipts, bringing in $3,000 of new money, pushing his campaign account near $14,000 on hand.

Among Rohrbaugh’s donors: Rena Coughlin, CEO of the Non-Profit Center of Northeast Florida. Coughlin also had a role in the transition team for Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.

Yarborough, running in Southside Jacksonville’s Republican-plurality House District 12, has started to deploy some of the $165,000-plus in hard money he’s raised over the last 20 months of his re-election bid.

The Arlington Republican raised just $2,500 and spent $17,645 between Sept. 1 and Sept. 14, leaving him with just over $101,000 on hand.

Yarborough’s Democratic opponent Tim Yost raised $1,890, with $1,100 from people with the Yost surname. Yost has just over $11,000 on hand.

Both Northeast Florida seats are considered safely Republican. Neither Byrd nor Yarborough faced a Democratic opponent in their 2016 campaigns, though the lawmakers they replaced, Janet Adkins and Lake Ray, each breached 70 percent of the vote in 2014.

Bobby Olszewski swamping Geraldine Thompson in campaign cash

Republican state Rep. Bobby Olszewski brought in more than $11,000 in the first two-week reporting period following the Aug. 28 primary pushing him much further ahead of former state Sen. Geraldine Thompson in the cash race behind the contest for his Florida House District 44 seat.

Olszewski’s latest contributions, totaling $11,850 for the first two weeks of September, brings his re-election campaign fundraising total to more than $161,000, and left him with nearly $130,000 in the bank according to the reports filed last Friday with the Florida Division of Elections.

Thompson, a former state senator and former state representative, battled through a Democratic primary on Aug. 28 to become the nominee in HD 44. Since then she raised only $1,250 in the latest two-week reporting period ending Sept. 14. And that left her total raised at just under $35,000, and left her with just over $9,000 in the bank.

Olszkewski’s latest haul came almost entirely from political action committees and corporations, including $1,000 checks from three beer distributor groups, Duke Energy, and the parent company of the Universal Orlando vacation resort in HD 44. Thompson received her latest campaign checks from four individuals.

The two are battling over HD 44, which covers southwest Orange County.

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