Donna Deegan trumpets $204,000 fundraising quarter
New endorsement for Donna Deegan.

Donna Deegan
Deegan looks to flip a GOP seat in Congress.

Longtime Jacksonville broadcaster Donna Deegan proclaimed this week that her congressional campaign raised $204,000 in 2019’s fourth quarter.

WE did it! Huge goal met!! Thanks to everyone who is helping to power our grassroots campaign! #peopleoverpolitics #takeittothehouse,” Deegan tweeted on New Year’s Day.

In a news release Thursday morning, Deegan expressed gratitude for “the outpouring of support from voters around the 4th District who are ready for real leadership and change in Washington, D.C.”

“We have seen a tremendous number of motivated supporters excited to connect with voters in the 4th District about Donna’s candidacy,” said campaign manager Erica Connor.

“Donna’s willingness to meet with people all around the district stands in stark contrast to Rep. Rutherford’s hesitancy throughout his tenure to host public events and interact with his constituents. Her candidacy offers a refreshing choice for First Coast voters and we are excited to engage with as many people as possible in the coming months,” Connor added.

Deegan will need $204,000, the grassroots, and some other breaks, as she is facing an entrenched Republican incumbent in what up until now has been seen as a safe Republican seat.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, who has represented Northeast Florida’s 4th Congressional District since the 2016 election, has yet to roll out fourth-quarter numbers.

However, he has been fundraising and likely still holds a cash-on-hand lead.

In the third quarter of 2019, Rutherford reported just over $70,000 raised, giving him $228,900 raised for the election cycle, and $443,376 on hand.

The vast majority of the funds raised in the quarter came from corporate political action committees (PACs).

Rutherford, a former three-term Jacksonville Sheriff, faced his toughest challenge in a battle royale-style 2016 GOP primary to replace outgoing Rep. Ander Crenshaw.

Since then, he has been protected by a combination of strong name identification, a deep red district and underwhelming challengers, as well as a robust Republican plurality. He typically garners roughly 70% of the vote.

GOP voters comprise 286,013 of the district’s 577,173 registered voters, compared to 155,073 Democrats, with independents and third-party registrants making up the balance.

Rutherford’s campaign would not comment on Democratic fundraising, saying that any commentary is premature until the party has a nominee.

Deegan’s $200,000 haul, while far beyond what either general election challenger to Rutherford mustered, likely will have to be only the beginning.

The closest recent comparison, in terms of a Democrat challenging for a GOP seat, was Democrat Nancy Soderberg challenging for what was ultimately the Congressional set vacated by current Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Soderberg raised $350,000 in her first quarter, on her way to raising over $3 million, as well as help from outside groups.

In the end, it didn’t matter, even in the 6th Congressional District, a map somewhat more favorable to Democrats than CD 4.

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz won by nearly 15 percentage points.

Though Deegan, a former broadcaster, has cachet in Jacksonville that few Democratic candidates might have, she has yet to be subject to the rigors of a competitive and oppo-rich campaign.

Her ability to respond to GOP machinations will be tested.

Both Rutherford and Deegan will face primaries.

Democrats Monica DePaul and Chris Eagle have raised nothing.

Likewise, on the Republican side, perpetual candidate Gary Koniz has not raised money. Another Republican, Erick Aguilar, has $52.00 on hand.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


3 comments

  • Seber Newsome III

    January 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    I think that Deegan is a socialist. She aligns herself with know socialist and puppet of George Soros., Andrew Gillum. She will try to get rid of the 2nd Amendment (take away your guns). She will want transgender’s going to schools and public libraries and having very small children sitting on Drag Queen’s laps. I dont think that is what the citizens of Florida want, do you? She is a bleeding heart liberal. All of this is just my opinion of course.

    • Marty

      January 3, 2020 at 8:50 am

      Is that you, Hannity?
      Sure reads like your false screeds. sigh

  • Monica DePaul

    January 3, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Please stop including me in these articles. I have no intention of continuing to be in this race and am merely having trouble with the process of dropping out. I have already announced this on my social media accounts but Florida Politics and other news organizations do not pay attention to them, apparently, and continue mislead readers about my intentions.

Comments are closed.


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