U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan raised $524,000 in the final quarter of 2019. That included money from a Southwest Florida donor who previously backed his Democratic opponent.
In total, the Sarasota Republican pulled in $1.91 million throughout 2019.
“We’re honored to receive such broad support from people across the district who are responding to Vern’s effective and successful record of fighting for seniors, veterans, middle-class families, the environment, and the protection of animals,” said Max Goodman, Buchanan’s campaign manager.
The funding comes as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sets its sights on Florida’s 16th Congressional District as a target in November. State Rep. Margaret Good, who defeated Buchanan’s son James in a nationally watched statehouse special election in 2018, announced she would challenge Buchanan this cycle.
But more than just numbers, Buchanan’s campaign this week revealed a major poach of a former Good supporter. Developer Hugh Culverhouse, who backed Good in two state legislative campaigns this year and donated already to her congressional campaign, said he’s now supporting Buchanan.
“I appreciate Vern’s time in the House and seniority on the Ways and Means Committee,” Culverhouse told Florida Politics. “I certainly don’t have to agree with all he or his party does, but this is just a two-person race. I pick him. He has the experience.”
He also encouraged Good to consider running for the Florida Legislature again.
“I wish Margaret had stayed as a state Rep and then state Senator before jumping to [a] federal house race,” Culverhouse said.
“She had the encouragement of a women’s group that anoints women to run, provide financing, and require a certain routine. I feel she needs to spend more time working at [the] state level and would support her again if she did.”
Culverhouse’s move on Monday appeared to catch Good’s campaign off guard. Representatives for the Democrat did not comment on Culverhouse’s change in allegiance.
Good’s campaign has not released its fundraising numbers for the last quarter of 2019 yet. But Good surprised many by raising $450,000 for her initial fundraising quarter. Buchanan raised $365,000 over the same period.
The race remains one of the hottest contests in Florida this year. Buchanan’s campaign has exhibited confidence, noting the incumbent beat Democrat David Shapiro by almost 10 percent in 2018.
The same year, Good held onto her seat by about two percentage points over Republican Ray Pilon.