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Charlie Crist posts more than $350,000 in first-quarter earnings for his 2020 re-election campaign.

Federal

Charlie Crist adds $358K+ during first quarter for his re-election

Congressman Charlie Crist has already collected $358,000 for his 2020 re-election bid.

Congressman Charlie Crist has already collected $358,000 for his 2020 re-election bid, according to federal campaign finance reports covering the first quarter of 2019.

Crist’s campaign committee raised more than $3 million for his 2018 election against Republican George Buck.

Buck has already announced his 2020 re-match. He raised less than $40,000 in the 2018 election and has raised just $6,900 for his 2020 bid.

Crist’s top donor so far is ActBlue. The organization dedicated to electing Democrats has donated more than $14,000 to Crist’s campaign so far.

Crist also took in $10,000 each from the defense contractor Harris Corporation’s PAC and from L3 Technologies.

Brian Ballard and his wife, Kathryn Ballard, contributed a total of $11,200. Ballard is one of Florida’s most powerful lobbyists with ties to the Trump White House. Though his firm is bi-partisan, Ballard served as one of Trump’s top fundraisers in Florida in 2016.

Some of Crist’s contributions might hint at some possible influence in the region.

Jacobs Engineering’s PAC kicked in $2,500. The firm is a major player in the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 7 efforts to modernize the region’s interstate system. It has served as a lead in the agency’s Tampa Bay Next process, which has drawn harsh rebuke from some local transit activists who oppose adding lanes to Interstate-275.

The Lakeland-based Publix Supermarkets PAC donated $1,000.

Crist also collected contributions from labor groups including $2,500 from the Laborers’ International Union of North America, $5,000 from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and $5,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers.

The United States Postal Service PAC donated $1,000.

Boeing’s PAC contributed $5,000. The company came under fire last month after two of its 737 Max 8 planes crashed due to technical failures. Governments worldwide, including the United States, grounded the planes as Boeing seeks to remedy the failures.

Crist also took in $2,500 from Tampa investor Bob Gries.

Crist is so far poised to sail to easy re-election. He overwhelmingly bested Buck last year with 58 percent of the vote. Crist’s first quarter fundraising haul compared to Buck’s meager earnings suggest he might be in line for a repeat.

Crist’s Pinellas County Congressional District 13 has favored Democrats since its boundaries were redrawn ahead of the 2016 election when Crist was first elected. It now includes parts of downtown St. Petersburg, giving the district a liberal boost.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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