Winter Park businessman Chris King edged out the other four Democrats running for Governor in his new campaign finance report thanks to another $1 million in self-funding.
In addition to the cash infusion, King raised about $15,000 from small-dollar donors between his campaign account and political committee, Rise and Lead, Florida. His expenditures, however, wiped out his gains and then some.
Making up nearly all of his spending for the July 7 through July 13 reporting period were $1.44 million in payments to AKPD Message & Media for advertising. Those payments likely stem from King’s latest TV spot, which features his 9-year-old daughter, Mary Grace.
To date, King has raised nearly $7 million between his two accounts, including $4.5 million in self-funding. He had $511,000 in the bank at the end of the reporting period.
Coming in just behind with his own $1 million check was Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, the late entry into the gubernatorial contest who has until now funded all of his campaign by pulling out his own checkbook.
In addition to continuing his self-funding spree, Greene has eight contributions from individual donors totaling $150. That falls in line with his early pledge to keep his campaign closed to big-name donors, limiting outside contributions to $100 or so per person.
His campaign also spent a bundle on ads. Of its $925,000 in expenditures, $537,000 paid for a direct mail campaign through Jacksonville-based Street Smartz Consulting, while another $306,000 paid for a media buy through Washington-based The Incite Agency.
In all, Greene has juiced his campaign with $10.6 million — $7.1 million in candidate contributions and $3.5 million in loans. He had $521,000 in the bank on July 13.
Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is, at least so far, the biggest self-funder in the race. Including a $570,000 loan he made to his campaign in his new report, he has put $12 million of his own money on the line since he first started eyeing the race early last year.
He brought in another $217,000 in outside money for the week, bringing his total haul to $787,000. Most of the outside money came in through his political committee, All About Florida, which received a $100,000 check from Fort Lauderdale-based Schlesinger Law Offices and a $66,000 check from New Leadership for Florida, a political committee chaired by his senior campaign adviser, Christian Ulvert.
Levine’s expenditures also include plenty of ad spending. All About Florida paid more than $200,000 for a mail campaign via The Pivot Group, while the campaign account spent $69,250 on digital ads and $620,000 on TV buys, likely related to the latest ad in his sustained media blitz.
Through July 13, Levine had brought in $20.4 million between his two accounts, including self-funding. His on-hand tally was $934,000 at the end of the reporting period.
Former Congresswoman Gwen Graham was in a distant fourth place in the new round of fundraising reports, though her nearly $200,000 in fundraising didn’t include a boost from her own bank account or her father’s, former Governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham.
The self-described “PTA mom” showed more than $123,000 in hard money fundraising for the week from more than 1,000 individual contributions, including more than 900 donations from small-dollar donors who gave $100 or less.
The remaining $76,100 in fundraising came in through her political committee, Gwen Graham for Florida. Nearly two-thirds of that cash came in from major Duval Democratic donor Sallyn Pajcic, the wife of Jacksonville attorney and former state Rep. Steve Pajcic.
Spending was relatively light at $169,500. Nearly $124,000 of that sum went to Virginia-based Deliver Strategies for media production, while the remainder was split across consulting contracts, credit card processing fees and travel reimbursements.
Graham’s now raised more than $9.6 million since entering the race. She had $2.4 million in the bank on July 13.
Rounding out the five-way primary field was Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who raised just shy of $99,000 for the week — $20,888 in hard money and another $78,000 via his political committee, Forward Florida.
Gillum, who consistently touts himself as “the only non-millionaire in the race,” brought in his campaign cash across more than 400 contributions from individuals, nearly all of whom gave $100 or less. The committee report, however, was buoyed by a $50,000 check from Quinn Delaney, a major Democratic donor from California.
Spending for the week registered at about $183,000, including a $132,815 payment to Connecticut-based Mission Control for a direct mail campaign. Another $20,000 was spent on signs and $15,000 on printing, with the remainder covering several small expenses.
Gillum, the first-in candidate for Governor, has now raised $4.15 million. He has just shy of $1.5 million banked.
The most recent poll of the Democratic primary race shows Graham and Greene at the top of the heap with nearly 22 percent support apiece, followed by Levine at 19.4 percent, Gillum at 10 percent and King at 3 percent. The race is still wide open, however, as one in four Democratic voters said they didn’t know who they will vote for.
The primary election is Aug. 28.