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Philip Levine pumps another $2.6M into Gov. campaign

Former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine whipped out his checkbook two weeks ago to loan another $2.62 million to his campaign for Governor.

The South Florida Democrat deposited that money, marked as a candidate loan, across two checks. His campaign account reeled in another $71,400 in outside cash to bring its to-date fundraising total past the $14 million mark.

Thanks to $2.66 million in campaign spending, that infusion was wiped out the week it landed. Nearly all of that money went toward media buys to keep Levine’s TV commercials on the air.

The campaign has rolled out two new 30-second spots in the past two weeks, the first telling the story of Tampa Bay campaign director Ella Coffee and the second calling out term-limited Gov. Rick Scott and other Republicans over the algal blooms wreaking havoc in South Florida waterways.

The former mayor’s political committee, All About Florida, tacked on another $186,000 in outside money during the weeklong reporting period, including a $100,000 check from California businessman Bobby Kotick, the CEO of video game company Activision Blizzard and a member of the Coca-Cola Company board.

Committee spending came in at more than $511,000 and included a $203,000 direct mail campaign via The Pivot Group, a $200,000 donation to the Florida Democratic Party and another $80,000 to MDW Communications for digital marketing.

All About Florida had about $479,000 in the bank on July 20. In all, Levine’s two accounts have raised $23.3 million combined, including nearly $15 million in contributions and loans from Levine’s personal fortune. The two accounts have a joint $638,000 on hand.

Levine faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene and Winter Park affordable housing developer Chris King in the Democratic primary for Governor.

Levine leads the pack in fundraising followed by Greene, who has put $13.6 million behind his campaign since entering the race at the beginning of June. Graham has raised nearly $10.4 million, while King has raised roughly $8 million between his two accounts, including $4 million in loans, and Gillum has raised about $4.5 million.

The most recent poll of the primary race puts Graham atop the five-way race with 27 percent support followed by Levine at 18 percent, Greene at 12 percent, Gillum at 10 percent and King at 7 percent.

The primary is Aug. 28. Whoever emerges from the Democratic primary will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, where they’ll face the winner of the two-way GOP primary between Ponte Vedra U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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