State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez has added nearly $590,000 in his bid to defend the Senate District 37 seat in November.
Those totals include money raised through Jan. 13, one day prior to the start of the 2020 Legislative Session. Lawmakers are barred from raising money while the Legislature is formally in Session.
That will prevent the Rodríguez campaign from collecting money into early March. That won’t pose much of a problem as of yet, as Rodríguez has not courted any challengers in the district contest so far.
And his impressive fundraising operation may play a part in potential candidates’ reticence to mount a challenge to Rodríguez.
He secured the SD 37 seat seat back in 2016, defeating incumbent Republican state Sen. Miguel Díaz de la Portilla, of the Díaz de la Portilla political family.
Rodríguez won that contest by just over 3 percentage points, which is not a humongous margin in a vacuum. But again, Rodríguez secured that win over a Republican incumbent. With Rodríguez now armed with incumbency, it will make it that much more difficult for Republicans to flip the seat back red in 2020.
Of the nearly $590,000 added by Rodríguez so far, just under $335,000 was collected through his campaign. His political committee, Initiative for Florida’s Future, has raised another $254,000.
Christian Ulvert, an advisor to the Rodríguez reelection campaign, added a statement Wednesday morning touting the fundraising totals.
“Our fundraising operation is headed up by fundraising consultant Alicia Pardo and they have brought together a broad coalition of supporters from across the region who are excited and eager to see Sen. Rodriguez continue to serve in the Florida Senate and advance a pragmatic policy agenda that makes our community and state a better place for all,” Ulvert said.
In addition to hitting those fundraising benchmarks, Rodríguez also recently secured an endorsement from Forward Florida, a political committee run by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum. Gillum has also said he’ll help campaign for Democratic lawmakers this cycle.