Matt Caldwell caps off 2017 with a six-figure December – Florida Politics

Matt Caldwell caps off 2017 with a six-figure December

Rep. Matt Caldwell announced Thursday that his December finance reports will show another six-figure fundraising month for his Agriculture Commissioner campaign, putting him at $1.56 million raised in 2017.

“We are working hard and our support continues to grow each and every day. We have traveled nearly 41,000 miles across this State since May 1 and, in every small town or big city we visit across the Sunshine State, supporters know how important it is to have a principled conservative serving as Commissioner of Agriculture and on the Florida cabinet,” Caldwell said.

The campaign said it brought in $42,201 for the month with another $59,500 raised through Caldwell’s political committee, Friends of Matt Caldwell, for a combined total of $101,701.

In December, the Lehigh Acres Republican has over $1.07 million on-hand between the two accounts, according to the campaign.

Caldwell is running against Sebring state Sen. Denise Grimsley and former Rep. Baxter Troutman in the Republican Primary to replace termed-out Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in 2018. Also running is David Walker, the lone Democrat in the race.

At the end of November, Troutman led the pack with nearly $2.5 million on hand in his campaign account and another $51,000 in a political committee. But nearly all of that sum came from his own fortune — Troutman has raised just $63,590 for his campaign account from donors since entering the race in June and his burn rate has been so low that his $2.5 million mic drop is starting to look like it was just for show.

Grimsley, meanwhile, had had $932,077 cash on hand between her campaign account and committee, Saving Florida’s Heartland.

While the raw numbers tentatively give Caldwell the second place spot in cash on hand, the fourth-term lawmaker looks to have built up some momentum heading into 2018.

Since Caldwell’s entry post-Session, he’s been the leading money-raiser in five reporting periods, and one of those two months was September when Caldwell suspended his fundraising efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma. His Lee County-based HD 79 was among the hardest hit by the storm.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.
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