Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson pulled in $68,392 in December in his bid for Congress.
The longtime city official announced in November he would seek retiring U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney’s seat. His hope is voters will decide 19 years serving the region will prepare him for a job in Washington.
Since then, he’s pulled in a decent haul in terms of checks supporting his bid.
He ultimately held $67,428 in cash on hand at the end of 2019, but he still lags behind a number of other elected officials seeking the seat and some self-funders.
“We like where we stand and look forward to running on Mayor Henderson’s winning record of rebuilding Fort Myers into the booming city it is today,” said Chasen Bullock, Henderson Spokesman.
The Fort Myers Republican served for nine years on City Council before serving a decade as Mayor.
“I believe this experience provides me the background to lead the charge for serving citizens in District 19 and bring focus and support from Washington to our district,” he said when he announced.
It also means he’s the one candidate with elected experience who has relied chiefly on support within the Lee County political network.
He’s now one of eight Republicans running in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.
That includes three state Representatives with connections among Tallahassee donors.
State Rep. Byron Donalds announced in January and won’t file his first reports until April.
However, state Rep. Dane Eagle, the current House Republican Leader, reported a haul of $422,295. Much of that came from state government leaders like Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva.
Henderson did outperform state Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, who closed 2019 with $30,391 in cash on hand.
But there’s also some political newcomers to Southwest Florida who posted head-turning numbers.
Naples candidates Dr. William Figlesthaler and conservative pundit Ford O’Connell both contributed significant personal resources but also tapped into Collier County’s network of personal wealth.
Figlesthaler ended up chipping in a $410,000 candidate loan, but also raised $126,295 in contributions. He closed 2019 with $506,754 in the bank, the most cash of any Republican in the race.
And O’Connell threw in a $200,000 candidate loan on top of more than $100,000 he raised, his campaign told Florida Politics.
Former New York Mayoral candidate Darren Dione Aquino also raised $21,000, including a $10,000 personal loan.