fundraising – Page 4 – Florida Politics

Lauren Book spends big in May, with nearly $800K still on-hand

Incumbent state Sen. Lauren Book had another month of big spending. After shelling out more than $40,000 in April, she followed it up by topping more than $50,000 in May spending.

Book’s impressive fundraising totals made those expenditures possible. She still sits on nearly $800,000 between her campaign and committee accounts.

Most of May’s spending went toward campaign petition mailers. About $40,000 went toward those mailers, with most of the remaining expenditures going to state and local Democratic Party groups.

Still, Book was able to offset those costs, bringing in nearly $75,000 to her committee, Leadership for Florida. Book’s campaign account also raised about $18,000.

The first-term senator is running unopposed in the race for Senate District 32. That would be a repeat of her previous election, as she went unchallenged in 2016 as well.

With Book bringing in big money, it’s not clear anyone will step up to the plate to contest her re-election. Book is also serving on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, established following the shooting that killed 17 people back in February.

SD 32 covers portions of Broward County including Weston, Davie, and Cooper City.

Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham

Gwen Graham raises more than $1M in May

Gwen Graham’s gubernatorial campaign said over the weekend that new campaign finance reports will show another banner month for the former congresswoman’s fundraising efforts.

The Graham team said it added more than $300,000 in contributions for the campaign and tacked on another $730,000-plus via Gwen Graham for Florida, an affiliated political committee.

The seven-figure haul, her second in a row, brings the North Florida Democrat’s total fundraising to nearly $8.5 million. The campaign said it started June with more than $5.5 million of that cash in the bank.

“This announcement is the icing on the cake of an extraordinary week for our campaign. We are on the air sharing our positive, progressive message, we gained national attention in Glamour magazine, we earned endorsements from Congressman Patrick Murphy and the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest union — and now we’re announcing another $1 million raised,” campaign manager Julia Woodward said.

“While another $1 million is huge, the number we’re most proud of is the 20,000 individual supporters who have given to our campaign. Gwen is building a real grassroots movement to end 20 years of one-party Republican rule and set our state straight.”

The campaign said those 20,000 individual donors, including 1,500 added last month, are the most of among the five major candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to replace Gov. Rick Scott in the fall.

Graham was the final Democratic candidate to announce May fundraising numbers.

Earlier this week, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said he brought in $1.3 million via contributions and added another $1.3 million of his own money for a combined haul of $2.6 million. He’s brought in $15 million to date.

Winter Park businessman Chris King said Thursday that his reports will show $78,661 raised and $400,000 in self-funding for a to-date total of $5.1 million, while Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum announced $361,750 in May receipts. He’s raised $3.4 million so far.

Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene joined the Democratic primary on June 1 but has kept quiet so far. His first finance report is due June 29.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Daphne Campbell

Daphne Campbell spent more than she raised in May

District 38 Sen. Daphne Campbell brought in a healthy $12,650 for her re-election campaign last month but shelled out even more as she looks to fend off primary challenger Jason Pizzo in the Democratic stronghold.

Her report, filed Thursday, shows 28 contributions including a half-dozen for the campaign maximum of $1,000.

Those donors included telecom company T Mobile, racetrack Gulfstream Park, Miami physician Allan JacobJack Cory of Public Affairs Consultants, and Rudy Moise, a Haitian American businessman and retired Air Force colonel who has twice mounted Democratic primary campaigns for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. His wife, Mirjam Moise, also showed up as a $1,000 donor.

Further down the list were five Miami law firms: The Law Office of Michael J. Feldman, James D. Payer PA, Goldberg & Hirsh PA, The Deprimo Law Firm and Gregg M Goldfarb LLP.

The Campbell campaign also spent $15,393 for the month. Included in that tally was a $3,300 check to Harry Reese for campaign consulting, $2,500 to The Gospel Truth for advertising and $1,300 to Walter Haas Graphics for signs. A long list of canvassing and phone banking payments made up another $2,600 of the outflow, while payments to campaign staffers totaled $1,600 for the month.

The Miami Democrat has now raised $92,400 since filing for re-election. She started June with $29,800 at the ready.

Pizzo, a former prosecutor, has not yet filed his May report — it’s due to the state on Monday — however his prior month report showed $152,000 in total fundraising since he began campaigning in earnest around New Year’s with more than $78,000 in the bank. That total includes $75,000 in loans.

Campbell and Pizzo were the top two finishers in the six-way primary for SD 38 two years ago. Campbell received 31 percent of the vote compared to a 24 percent share for Pizzo, a difference of 2,129 votes.

If no other candidates enter the race before the qualifying period ends on June 22, their rematch will be a true head-to-head with the winner heading to the Senate without opposition on the November ballot.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Chris King invests another $400K in gubernatorial bid after raising $78K in May

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King announced Wednesday that he raised $78,661 last month and kicked in another $400,000 of his own money to bring his total fundraising past the $5 million mark.

Nearly $410,000 of the May money went to his official campaign account, while his committee, Rise and Lead Florida, took in the balance. All told, King has now brought in nearly $5.1 million since entering the race for Governor in March 2017.

“After 20 years of one-party Republican rule, Floridians are ready for new leadership,” campaign manager Zach Learner said in the fundraising announcement. “We’re excited to share our progressive message with even more Democrats across the state of Florida.”

Including his $400,000 infusion last month, King has put more than $2.7 million of his own money on the line. The Winter Park businessman didn’t specify whether his May investment was marked down as a loan or a contribution, though he’s marked them down as loans for the past two months.

Neither report is viewable through the Florida Division of Elections, so his on-hand tally is mystery for now — full reports for May are due to the state on Monday. As of April 30, King had just under $2.5 million in the bank.

That total could see a substantial decrease, as the “outsider” candidate put some cash into airing TV ads in a half-dozen Florida markets last month — Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Panama City and West Palm Beach-Fort Pierce.

The first of those ads, “New Direction,” saw the candidate publicize his pledge to not take campaign cash from the sugar lobby. The second, “Stand Up,” serves as an indictment of Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled state Legislature for doing “nothing” in the wake of the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre.

King is the third of the four major Democrats to announce his May financials.

Earlier this week, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said he raised $1.3 million and matched it with another $1.3 million from his personal fortune, putting his overall tally at around $15 million.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum said Wednesday that his campaign and committee raised a combined $361,750 for a to-date total of $3.4 million. He had $1.4 million in the bank at the end of April.

The last of the four majors, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, hasn’t previewed her new reports. She had raised nearly $7.5 million as of April 30 and had $4.7 million banked.

Ron DeSantis’ May report included more than $1M in old money

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis said Monday that his campaign and affiliated political committee “took in more than $3 million” last month, but that may have been a little misleading.

When he made the announcement, partial month records for his committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, showed it had brought in about $1.27 million as of May 31, however those records have since been updated to include another $1.43 million worth of transactions on the last day of the month for a total “haul” of $2.7 million in May.

The source of $1.1 million of that cash was a transfer from Ron DeSantis for Florida, the principal campaign committee for his now-defunct re-election bid for Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

Here’s what his campaign said Monday, in its entirety: “The Ron DeSantis campaign for Governor took in more than $3 Million throughout a successful round of fundraising in May. The total amount was collected between the Friends of Ron DeSantis Political Committee and the campaign. This latest fundraising haul brings the total amount raised to $10.8 Million.”

Lots of candidates twist words when it comes to fundraising, most often by finding euphemistic ways to spin self-funding. This is different. This money wasn’t raised in May. Most of it wasn’t even raised in 2018.

While it’s technically not an untruth to say the money was “collected,” or that the account “took in” $3 million in May, it is certainly misleading. Especially considering the campaign held back half of its May 31 transactions until after it announced its “successful round of fundraising.”

Why the DeSantis team found it necessary to twist words is unclear. As it stands the committee brought in $1.6 million actual new money last month, and assuming there isn’t another trick up their sleeves the campaign is likely to show another $300,000-plus in its own right.

A $1.9 million effort is nothing to sneeze at. Even without the $1.1 million transfer, which indeed spends the same way as other cash, DeSantis is primed to go toe-to-toe with Adam Putnam’s May numbers.

We’ll see what the numbers actually show when the campaign and committee reports are in. Both are due to the state by June 11.

Bob Doyel raises $8,900 for SD 22 bid in May

Winter Haven Democrat Bob Doyel raised $8,916 in May for his bid to unseat Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel in Senate District 22.

The retired circuit court judge received that cash via 66 contributions, the majority of them coming in from individuals giving $100 or less. About half of Doyel’s May contributions came from within the confines of the district, which covers northern Polk County and southern Lake County.

His top donor of the month was “Floridians for Ethics, Accountability and Responsibility,” a political committee tied to South Florida Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer.

Following that were a half-dozen $500 checks, including one from Lakeland law firm DiCesare, Davidson & Barker. Further down on the report was a $100 check from the Lakeland branch of the United Food & Commercial Workers.

Expenditures came in at about $14,500 last month. More than half of that tally paid the salary of campaign manager Trinity Laurino, an experienced digital marketing and fundraising expert and a former CNN producer who has been working for the campaign for several months.

Also on the ledger was a $2,166 payment to St. Petersburg-based Democratic consulting firm Blue Ticket Consulting and a $1,850 payment to direct mail/printing experts Street Smartz Consulting.

With May in the books, Doyel has raised just over $92,000 since filing for the race one year ago. That total includes $7,500 worth of loans Doyel used to kickstart his campaign in the early going. He started June with a little over $50,000 in the bank.

Doyel will have to dispatch former state Rep. Ricardo Rangel in the Democratic primary before he can get a shot at Stargel.

The Auburndale Democrat had not filed his May campaign finance report as of Wednesday afternoon, though as of April 30 he had shown about $5,000 in contributions for the six weeks he’d been in the race.

Both Democrats trail Stargel by a mile. Through April, she had raised $183,600 for her campaign and had $133,600 banked. She is also expected to get some reinforcements from incoming Senate President Bill Galvano, who is hosting a fundraiser for her in Bradenton next month.

SD 22 has a Republican lean, but Democrats are hoping the “blue wave” can put it and other Republican-held Senate seats in play come November. In the 2016 cycle, Stargel scored a 7-point win over Democrat Debra Wright after outspending her 20-to-1. President Donald Trump also carried the district by nearly the same margin.

Indicted Senate candidate Reggie Brown stays in race, reports no May fundraising

Suspended Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Brown, currently facing 32 federal counts in a scheme to defraud with another suspended council colleague, is still an active primary opponent in Senate District 6 for Minority Leader-designate Audrey Gibson.

Brown told media he was not suspending his campaign at his indictment a week ago, and proof of that active candidacy could be found in his May campaign finance filing: the fourth straight month in which Brown reported no fundraising.

Given that he faces, if all maximum penalties prevail, 601 years and a $8.275 million fine, perhaps that explains the reluctance.

At the end of April, which was her most recent filing, Sen. Gibson had nearly $132,000 cash on hand.

“I have not made any comments about the opponent in the race and I have none today. I continue to do my legislative duties, work to get more Senate Dems elected as Leader-designate, and focus on my re-election campaign,” Gibson said last week after the indictment dropped.

The winner of the primary campaign will face nominal November opposition from a write-in candidate.

Ron DeSantis raises more than $3 million in May

Last month brought U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis his best fundraising haul since first announcing his campaign for Governor at the beginning of the year.

The Northeast Florida Republican’s campaign announced Monday that DeSantis brought in more than $3 million between his campaign account and his affiliated political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis. That makes May his second most lucrative month behind January when he showed more than $3.3 million raised between the two accounts.

Neither report was viewable via the Florida Division of Elections as of Monday afternoon, and the campaign didn’t include DeSantis’ new on-hand total in the news release. The Donald Trump-backed candidate had about $7 million banked as of April 30, and the May effort puts his overall fundraising total at around $10.8 million.

Records available on the Friends of Ron DeSantis website show the committee brought in about $1.27 million last month, including a $500,000 check from Chicago-based hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin, and $100,000 apiece from Jupiter businessman Lawrence F. DeGeorge, J.W. Childs Associates CEO John W. Childs and United Automobile Insurance Co.

Expenditures topped $117,000, including $32,736 to Seaborn Strategic for direct mail services, $28,250 to Ello Creative for media consulting and $23,411 to Ross Consulting for political consulting work.

Based on those figures, the committee had more than $7.26 million on hand heading into June.

While DeSantis has posted some impressive fundraising during his short time in the gubernatorial contest, Republican Primary opponent Adam Putnam held a fourfold lead in total fundraising at the end of last month. His cash on hand advantage may take a hit, however, as mid-month figures from his committee showed $226,000 in fundraising and nearly $3.25 million in spending through the first three weeks of May.

Most of that spending went toward media buys, an expense DeSantis has yet to incur in any substantive way due to his frequent appearances on Fox News.

Putnam had about $19 million on hand at the end of April. He has not yet announced his May fundraising numbers.

The winner of the DeSantis versus Putnam contest will the winner what recently became a five-way primary on the Democratic side. South Florida billionaire Jeff Greene announced Monday he would run for Governor as a Democrat, joining Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Orlando-area businessman Chris King and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Aakash Patel

Aakash Patel crosses $450K in total fundraising

Republican Aakash Patel raised more than $30,000 last month for his bid to succeed Sandra Murman in the District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission.

May brought $19,386 in new money to Patel’s campaign account and another $11,000 to his political committee, Elevate Tampa. He has now raised more than $450,000 since filing for the seat.

“I am so honored by the support we have received in our first year of campaigning and fundraising. I look forward to serving all the citizens of Hillsborough County on the County Commission. As I have met voters across District 1, I continue to learn of the issues that are so important to the success of our County and I pledge to work every day for better transportation alternatives, strong economic development policies and better access to early education for our children,” Patel said.

Patel’s May fundraising reports are not yet viewable through the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections or the Florida Division of Election and he did not announce his current cash-on-hand total. He finished April with more than $264,000 in the bank.

Patel, who now runs his own business consulting firm, faces fellow Republican C. Todd Marks and Democrat Jen McDonald in the District 1 race. Murman is currently a candidate for the countywide District 7 seat in the fall.

Through April, Marks had raised about $80,000 for his campaign and had nearly $79,000 on hand. McDonald, who filed in April, brought in $4,345 during her first month on the trail and as about $4,200 banked.

In addition to the fundraising advantage, Patel also boasts an extensive endorsement list. His backers include t. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, Panhandle U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, former House Speaker Will Weatherford, Zephyrhills Rep. Danny Burgess and Sarasota Rep. Joe Gruters.

Amanda Murphy raises $50K for political committee during first weeks on the trail

A political committee tied to former Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy, who is running for Senate District 16 in the fall, brought in $50,000 last month according to a campaign finance report filed Monday.

Taxpayers for Responsible Government received that money via a single contribution, though no name or occupation was attributed to the money. The listed address, however, matches that of political committee Florida For All, which also cut a $50,000 check to a committee linked to House Minority Leader Janet Cruz in April.

The only other transaction listed on the report was a $70 in-kind contribution from Murphy for filing fees.

Murphy’s committee has been largely dormant since its creation in 2015. Before the May contribution report, the last time Taxpayers for Responsible Government reported any income was in the lead up to the 2016 election, when Murphy lost her re-election bid against now-Republican Rep. Amber Mariano.

Including past fundraising, the committee entered June with $55,000 in the bank.

The SD 16 race will likely see Murphy up against Clearwater Republican Rep. Ed Hooper in the fall.

Fellow Democrat Bernie Fensterwald had been running for the seat, but he announced he would withdraw from the race about a week after Murphy officially announced her campaign. Restaurant owner Leo Karrulli opposes Hooper in the Republican Primary.

A recent poll of the race found Murphy with a slim lead over Hooper, 44-43, despite the district having an inherent Republican advantage.

SD 16 covers northern Pinellas County and southwestern Pasco County, including Clearwater, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, New Port Richey and Oldsmar. Republicans make up about 38 percent of the district’s electorate, while Democrats make up about a third.

As of April 30, Hooper had more than $356,000 on hand between his campaign account and political committee, Friends of Ed Hooper. Murphy’s campaign has not yet filed its first report.

May reports are due to the state by June 11.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons