Republican Dr. Leo Valentin‘s campaign reported Tuesday it had raised more than $100,000 in the first week of his candidacy for Florida’s 7th Congressional District, an effort he hopes leads him to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy in 2020.
Valentin, a medical doctor who runs a radiology practice in Orlando, entered the contest on Nov. 6, joining five other Republicans hoping to take on Murphy in the district covering Seminole County and parts of northern and central Orange County.
“Our entire team is very proud of the early success we’ve seen in our fundraising efforts, but we have to keep our foot on the gas pedal,” Valentin stated in a news release issued by his campaign. “This early fundraising signifies the community’s support for our message and campaign — hardworking families want someone who will actually fight for them in Congress and keep their campaign promises. This shows the hunger this district has for someone new.”
His campaign declined to offer details about the first week of fundraising, except to note it includes no loans from the candidate.
With the first week of fundraising, Valentin has quickly emerged as the leading Republican challenger. The others, Vennia Francois, Stephen Bacon, Richard Goble, Armani Salado, and Mike Thibodeau, have raised little money in comparison.
Murphy entered October with about $841,000, after having spent $3 million to be elected to a second term in 2018. In addition, national groups spent more than $1 million to support her in both 2016 and 2018.
“The progress we’ve made is exciting, but this is only a fraction of what will be necessary to win next November,” Valentin stated. “Our team knows exactly what we need to accomplish over the next year and are confident we will execute on our campaign plan.”