fundraising Archives - Page 7 of 47 - Florida Politics

Jimmy Patronis triples Jeremy Ring in June fundraising for CFO race

Campaign finance reports covering most of last month show sitting Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis continuing to build his cash advantage over his challenger, former Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring.

Patronis brought in $167,500 during the past two reporting cycles, which cover June 1 through June 29. The Panama City Republican raised $92,100 of that money through his campaign account, with the balance coming in through his political committee, Treasure Florida.

Ring brought in $56,590 over the same stretch, including $26,590 in hard money and $30,000 in soft money raised through his political committee, Florida Action Fund.

Patronis’ campaign account received more than a dozen checks for $3,000 last month, the maximum contribution for statewide campaigns, while Treasure Florida’s biggest contribution in June was a $25,000 check from the United Association, a labor union for plumbers and pipefitters.

His two accounts spent a combined $61,000 for the month, with the single biggest check heading to the Florida Department of State to cover his qualifying fee.

Ring’s campaign account notched just three $3,000 checks, with the bulk of his funds coming in from small-dollar donors. Florida Action Fund’s largest contribution of the month came in from the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teacher union. They sent a $15,000 check on June 29.

Patronis has now reeled in $3.8 million for his 2018 campaign and had $3.28 million banked on June 29. Ring has raised $1.15 million for his bid, including money he raised for his committee prior to becoming a candidate, and has $472,000 in the bank. His total also includes $150,000 in candidate loans.

Though Patronis has a clear lead in fundraising, recent polls of the CFO race have been split.

A Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by Democratic consultant Christian Ulvert of EDGE Communications last month showed Ring with a 39-34 percent lead over Patronis. A separate poll released by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Patronis, found the incumbent with a 40-31 percent edge over Ring.

Ring and Patronis are the only two major party candidates running for CFO, though write-in candidate Richard Paul Dembinsky has also qualified for the race.

Election Day is Nov. 6.

Wilton Simpson puts another $500K into GOP Senate campaign arm

Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson gave his colleagues a helping hand last month by sending another $500,000 to the main committee supporting Republican state Senate campaigns.

Simpson, who is in line to become Senate President if Republicans maintain their majority in the chamber through the 2020 elections, sent that money to the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee from his Jobs for Florida political committee.

The Trilby Senator has now pumped nearly $1.4 million into the FRSCC since he opened his political committee, including $835,000 in contributions during the current election cycle.

While Simpson is known as a prolific fundraiser — he’s raised $1.5 million through his committee this year — the funds transfer is more significant as a window into FRSCC’s finances.

There’s no reason to believe FRSCC has seen a drop off in fundraising.

Incoming Senate President Bill Galvano has been in charge raising money for the committee since last year, and through March 31 he had helped reel in $7 million for the committee, including a record-breaking haul in the third quarter of 2017.

But unlike candidates for office, who saw their schedule of finance reporting deadlines ratchet up after qualifying period for state races ended on June 22, party affiliated committees such as the FRSCC won’t file their next reports until Aug. 24. That leaves a months long gap in finances heading into an election that could shake up the balance of power in the Florida Senate.

Piecing together expenditure data from other political committees shows FRSCC has raised at least $1.5 million since April 1. Simpson’s contributions are by far the largest based on available data, however there are a handful of other donors who have hit the six-figure mark over the last three months.

Those include The Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has given $195,000 between its Florida Jobs and Florida Chamber of Commerce Alliance committees; Floridians for a Stronger Democracy, a political committee tied to the Associated Industries of Florida, which has given $190,000; the Florida Medical Association PAC has sent over $150,000; and Fleming Island Sen. Rob Bradley has chipped in $100,000 through his Working for Florida’s Families committee.

How much FRSCC has spent is even murkier. Republican Senate candidates have reported receiving $191,261 worth of “in-kind” support from the group since the start of April, including $85,000 apiece to the campaigns of Gainesville Sen. Keith Perry and Tampa Sen. Dana Young, who are the two most vulnerable Senate Republicans up for re-election in 2018.

Jeff Greene, Philip Levine continue self-funding spree

Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene pumped another $3.5 million into his gubernatorial campaign last week, and fellow South Florida Democrat Philip Levine threw another $1.1 million into his, according to newly filed campaign finance reports.

Greene has now put $7.1 million of his own cash into his campaign. The late-entry into the race has yet to show any outside fundraising, though he has stated that is by design.

In an interview with Florida Politics last month, the one-time U.S. Senate candidate said he may open his campaign up to small-dollar donors down the line so supporters can have some skin in the game.

Along with the seven-figure check came seven figures worth of expenses.

A $2.77 million ad buy through Fortune Media of Redondo Beach, California, accounted for the bulk of the $3.63 million spent by the campaign between June 22 and June 29. Also on the ledger was a $740,000 payment to Street Smartz Consulting and about a dozen smaller expenses, mainly for consulting.

The campaign also received a $350,000 refund from New York City-based MV Digital Group. That company had received $537,000 from Greene during the first three weeks of June to manage and develop his social media presence.

The campaign had $730,000 in the bank at the end of the reporting period. White that’s the least of any major gubernatorial candidate, Greene has committed to spending “whatever it takes” on his statewide bid and is sure to show another several million of self-funding in his next weekly report.

Levine, the former mayor of Miami Beach, raised $162,000 in addition to kicking in another $1.1 million of his own money. He has loaned his campaign $8.4 million thus far and has put another $2.8 million into his affiliated political committee, All About Florida.

The campaign account received $57,000 of the outside money raised last week. A handful of max checks topped the sheet, while more than 150 donors checked in with contributions of $100 or less.

All About Florida raised the other $105,000, with half of that cash coming in from a political committee chaired by Christian Ulvert, a senior adviser to the Levine campaign.

Levine’s campaign and committee also spent a combined $1.62 million last week, including a $1.2 million TV buy and a $350,000 contribution to the Florida Democratic Party.

The two accounts combined to $1.1 million on hand on June 29.

Greene and Levine are two of the five major Democrats running for Governor, the others being Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham and Orlando-area businessman Chris King.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Vern Buchanan’s haul rises, posts $640K for Q2

Republican U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan raised more than $640,000 over the last three months for his re-election campaign in Florida’s 16th Congressional District.

“Vern’s independence and effective record of achievements fighting for seniors, children, veterans and middle-class families are why so many in Southwest Florida are proud to call him their congressman,” said Max Goodman, Buchanan’s campaign manager.

Buchanan’s second-quarter report is not yet viewable on the Federal Elections Commission website, though his fundraising total beats his Q1 haul by $170,000. The campaign said it had about $2.5 million on hand at the end of the quarter.

The sixth-term congressman had the same on-hand total at the end of the first quarter, so Q2 spending totals will likely match the fundraising tally. Some of that money went toward a pair of campaign ads, the first touting Buchanan as an “independent leader” in Congress, and the second focused on his record combatting the opioid epidemic.

Challenging Buchanan this cycle are Democrats Jan Schneider and David Shapiro, neither of whom have announced their Q2 fundraising numbers. Shapiro, a Siesta Key attorney, is the frontrunner with about $500,000 banked at the end of Q1 compared to $80,000 for Schneider.

Buchanan’s fundraising announcement also saw his campaign trumpet CD 16’s Republican lean — it voted plus-11 for President Donald Trump — without ever using the word Republican. The campaign has avoided mentioning Buchanan’s political party in its messaging, including the TV ads.

While the district has been a safe Republican seat in past elections, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s Crystal Ball moved CD 16 from “Safe Republican” to “Likely Republican” in March, calling it a “deep sleeper Democratic target.”

Money flows in GOP Attorney General race

Former Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Ashley Moody continues to post six-figure contribution totals, while her opponent in the Republican primary for attorney general, state Rep. Frank White, has started to dig into his campaign treasury to pay for ads, new finance reports show.

On the Democratic side of the race to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi, Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa maintains a big lead in the fundraising contest over Ryan Torrens, a lawyer from Hillsborough County.

White, a Pensacola Republican, spent more than $1 million, mostly on advertising, from June 1 to June 22, while raising $84,200, according to campaign finance reports posted on the state Division of Elections website.

White released a pair of commercials last month that are part of a statewide TV ad buy that is expected to run up to the Aug. 28 primary.

The first criticizes politicians, liberal judges and elites that “threaten the Constitution and mock our values.” The second ad highlights White’s pro-life stance and support for the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump.

White, who serves as general counsel and chief financial officer for the chain of Sandy Sansing auto dealerships, has put $2.77 million of his own money into the race.

White had about $2.4 million on hand as of June 22.

Of the $84,200 raised between June 1 and June 22, $39,000 came from other auto dealerships and real estate companies tied to those dealerships.

Braman auto dealerships and real estate companies in South Florida accounted for $24,000.

Moody, meanwhile, posted $285,655 in contributions during the same time frame to her campaign account and the political committee Friends of Ashley Moody.

With $19,150 from attorneys and law firms, and $45,085 from bankers, insurers and real estate interests during the time frame, Moody was sitting on a combined total of more than $2.2 million as of June 22.

Moody, who continues to receive in-kind support from the Republican Party of Florida, also claimed $23,000 from auto dealers in the three-week span.

The Republican Party, through expenditures for research, staffing and consulting, has provided Moody with $382,057 in-kind assistance, including $48,995 in the first three weeks of June.

Moody and her political committee spent $143,647 during the same time, with the largest expenditure being a $100,000 contribution to the state GOP.

She also spent $19,142 on advertising and printing.

Shaw, a Tampa attorney who released his first campaign biographical video on Monday, posted $60,468 in contributions to his campaign account and the political committee Sean Shaw for Florida between June 1 and June 22.

Shaw also benefited from $40,187 worth of in-kind assistance from the Florida Democratic Party.

Shaw put $3,810 of his own money into the contest, and lawyers and claims adjusters accounted for $22,352 of Shaw’s three-week total.

Shaw, a former state insurance consumer advocate, had $388,111 available in the two accounts as of June 22, $16,858 less than when the month began.

Torrens, who is counting on increasing his finances through state’s public matching-funds program, posted $11,696 in the three-week span, including $5,450 in loans. He had $2,901 on hand as of June 22.

Jeff Siskind, an attorney from Wellington who opened a campaign account on June 20, posted a $5,250 loan to himself the same day. Almost all of the money, $5,210,92, was used to pay his filing fee to run without party affiliation.

Gwen Graham tops Democratic rivals in outside contributions, but not June fundraising

With a combined haul of more than $633,000 for her campaign and independent political committee, and with all of it coming from outside donors – sort of – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham is declaring her early June fundraising swamped her four Aug. 28 primary opponents.

Graham’s campaign is reporting it raised $152,291 and her independent committee Gwen Graham for Florida brought in another $481,350 during the just-posted campaign finance reporting period of June 1-22.

Graham’s campaign hailed that total as more than all four of her Democratic primary opponents raised from supporters combined during the same period.

“Florida Democrats get it. With Donald Trump in the White House and a woman’s right to choose on the line, they know we can’t afford to lose this election,” Campaign Manager Julia Woodward stated in a news release. “Florida Democrats know Gwen Graham is the best candidate to finally take back our state, which is why they’re supporting our campaign more than all of our primary opponents, combined.”

Yet those bragging rights comes with a few caveats that fuzz over the full financial pictures for any of the Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls.

First, her Democratic rivals Jeff Greene, Philip Levine, and Chris King all bolstered their campaigns with big personal checks that Graham’s campaign is discounting because they’re not donations from supporters. As a result, in the end each of them brought in far more money in the 22-day period than Graham managed.

Second, while rival Andrew Gillum did not raise much at all from June 1-22, his Forward Florida independent political committee cashed contributors’ checks totaling $451,000 just in the next three or four days.

Third, while technically all of Graham’s money came from outside contributors, the biggest of those was her father, former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, who donated $250,000 to the Gwen Graham for Florida political committee on the last day of the reporting period.

End result: Palm Beach businessman Greene raised $3.6 million during the period, all of it donated from his own bank account; former Miami Beach Mayor Levine raised more than $1.2 million during the period for his campaign and his independent committee All About Florida, including $1 million he lent his campaign; Winter Park businessman King raised $815,489 combined for his official campaign and his independent committee Rise and Lead, including $800,000 for his campaign; and Tallahassee Mayor Gillum managed just a paltry $108,778 in total contributions before his independent committee Forward Florida cashed the late-June checks from New York billioniare George Soros, the Barbara A. Stiefel Trust, and a couple of others.

Strictly counting outside contributions, including that of Bob Graham, former U.S. Rep. Graham’s total of $633,641 for June 1-22 compared with just $358,674 brought in by the other four candidates and their committees.

Graham also finished the period with more cash on hand than any other candidate. Graham had $3.7 million in the bank — $2 million more than her next closest competitor, at the end of the day on June 22.

“While other candidates are increasingly relying on out-of-state billionaires, secret money and their personal bank accounts, Gwen is continuing to widen her lead in grassroots supporters who are donating $5, $10, or $25 at a time,” Woodward stated. “This is more than just a campaign for governor, this is a movement to restore our public schools, conserve our environment, and protect our access to health care — and we’re going to win because we have real Floridians supporting our fight.”

janet cruz

Janet Cruz raises $61K, refunds $10K in June

House Minority Leader Janet Cruz brought in about $61,000 between her campaign and committee accounts during the first three weeks of June but had to refund nearly $10,000 in contributions she received before jumping into the Senate District 18 race.

Cruz raised just over $31,000 for her campaign account and another $30,000 for her political committee, Building the Bay PC, during the reporting period ending June 22. Those contributions were offset by about $2,500 in spending and a further $9,300 in refunded contributions.

Before Cruz filed for SD 18 in mid-April, she was a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission. She raised nearly $66,000 for the campaign before quitting and moving about $63,000 in unspent funds to her Senate campaign.

Those refunds are due to a state campaign finance law that requires candidates to offer prorated refunds to their donors if they switch from one race to another. Since filing for SD 18, 13 donors have asked Cruz for their money back, a dozen of them in June.

Donors receiving a refund include AT&T Florida, Dean Cannon, Capital Insight, the Palm Beach Kennel Club, Pressman & Associates, Southern Strategy Group, and SSG lobbyists Seth McKeel and Laura Boehmer, many of whom have donated to Republican Sen. Dana Young, the incumbent Cruz is looking to unseat in the fall.

Cruz had raised $416,000 as of June 22, with just over $390,000 in the bank. Young, who has been raising money for her re-election bid since December 2016, has $1.28 million on hand between her campaign and political committee, Friends of Dana Young. She raised about $88,000 between June 1 and June 22.

A fresh poll shows Cruz and Young in a tight race, with Cruz holding a 44-43 percent advantage. That falls well within the poll’s margin of error.

Cruz and Young are the only two candidates in the race. The election is Nov. 6.

Jerry Demings hauls in $83K in early June for his Orange County mayoral run

In the first 22 days of June, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings‘ campaign for the Orange County mayor’s job had another big fundraising drive, bringing in more than $83,000 and leaving him more than $900,000 left to spend.

Demings official campaign raised $66,100 in the period covering June 1-22, while his independent political committee Orange County Citizens for Smart Growth picked up $17,500. His campaign spending picked up as well, spending $108,408, between the two accounts, during the period. Even with that level of spending, he still ended the period with $927,658 left.

His opponents, Winter Park entrepreneur Rob Panepinto and Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke both had decent fundraising efforts, for them. But both also picked up their campaign spending, and Demings’ fundraising prowess is opening a wide gap in money chase for the three-way race.

Panepinto raised $25,610 in his official campaign fund but just $4,800 in his independent committee, Vision Orange County. So far he has raised $671,843 between the two committees. With his spending, he finished the June 22 period with $367,679 left in the two accounts.

Clarke raised $2,325 for his campaign fund, which so far has mostly been fueled by his personal loans. He now has raised $301,906, and ended the period with $251,744 left.

Adam Putnam doubled Ron DeSantis in June fundraising

Through the first three weeks of June, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam raised nearly double the money of gubernatorial primary opponent U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.

From June 1 through June 22, Putnam raked in almost $2.1 million — $1.8 million through his political committee, Florida Grown, and another $283,000 through his official campaign account.

DeSantis’ total came in at $1.12 million, including $821,000 in contributions to Friends of Ron DeSantis and another $298,000 in campaign dollars.

The new reports add to Putnam’s immense lead in the money race as the two Republicans barrel toward the Aug. 28 Republican primary that will decide which of them will be on the November ballot.

To date, Putnam has raised $32.7 million for his gubernatorial bid compared to about $12 million for DeSantis, whose total was buoyed last month by a $1.1 million transfer from his now-defunct congressional re-election fund.

The new campaign finance reports are the first since the qualifying period for state races ended. From now through Nov. 6, candidates are required to file a report every week.

The two Republicans squared off Thursday night in their first debate, which focused more on national issues than those affecting Florida.

Still, both candidates were able to tout their support among different factions of the Republican party. DeSantis has locked up the support of President Donald Trump, while Putnam met criticisms that he was “weak” on border and immigration issues by reminding his opponent of his substantial support among county sheriffs and police.

The race isn’t the only facet of the contest where Putnam has doubled DeSantis. Most recent polls show the second-term Agriculture Commissioner with two-to-one lead among Republican primary voters.

The winner of the GOP nom will go on to face one of the five Democratic candidates looking to take back the Governor’s Mansion after 20 years of Republican rule.

Tampa transportation initiative gets $300K boost, collects 5K signatures

A grassroots effort backing a one-cent sales tax increase to fund Hillsborough County transportation filed a monster campaign finance report Friday.

The group, All for Transportation, reports receiving five contributions in its first week, and included among those were six-figure checks from Water Street Tampa developer and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik as well as businessman and philanthropist Frank Morsani. Both men chipped in $150,000.

The fundraising report came alongside the news that the group collected 10 percent of the required signatures they need to get the penny sales tax on the ballot.

“In less than 2 weeks, All for Transportation has turned in more than 5,000 petitions. That’s a testament to not only how bad the traffic congestion has become in the Tampa Bay region, but to how much support there is for finding a solution,” said All for Transportation spokesperson Tyler Hudson.

The group faces a July 27 deadline to gather the remaining 44,000 signatures it needs in order to make the ballot in November, and the $300,000 cash infusion has already helped out toward that goal — All for Transportation’s lone expenditure in the new report was a $50,000 payment to Revolution Field Strategies for petition gathering services.

As of June 22, it had $250,220 in the bank.

The push for a penny sales tax to fund transportation isn’t new. The Hillsborough County Commission voted against putting the “Go Hillsborough” initiative on the ballot two years ago. In 2010 voters rejected a similar tax proposal that would have allotted money for specific transportation projects, which is different from what’s being proposed by All for Transportation.

The initiative would send 45 percent of the funds raised to the Hillsborough Regional Transit Authority and split the rest up between county and municipal governments.

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