Note: This piece previously stated Monica DePaul was running on the Democratic side, but that isn’t happening. Apologies to all adversely affected by the error.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, who has represented Northeast Florida’s 4th Congressional District since the 2016 election, rolled out first-quarter fundraising numbers Tuesday.
The Congressman will maintain his cash on hand advantage over likely Democratic challenger Donna Deegan.
However, each quarter sees the challenger closing in on the incumbent.
Rutherford raised nearly $150,000 between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31 of this year, pushing his total on hand over $597,000.
Cash on hand increased by nearly $100,000 since the end of 2019 report.
Rutherford’s money was roughly an even split between individual contributions, most of whom were familiar donor class fixtures who helped drive his anticlimactic victories in 2016 and 2018, with corporate PACs pumping in another $77,000.
However, for the second straight quarter, his challenger outraised him.
Deegan raised $220,305.36 for Q1, giving her a total raised of $425,901 through the first two quarters. More than 3400 individual donors contributed.
During the last quarter of 2019, Rutherford raised $123,850, less than Deegan, a former broadcaster and cancer survivor, who raised $204,000 in her first quarter in the race.
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, a combination of strong name identification, a deep red district and underwhelming challengers, as well as a robust Republican plurality have sheltered Rutherford. 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 and Deegan appear to be on a collision course for their party’s nominations.
Other candidates with open campaign accounts, including Republicans Robbi Gleichauf and Erick Aguilar, have raised little money.
Gleichauf raised nothing.
Aguilar had roughly $5,000 on hand.
Candidates in Florida’s 4th Congressional District, and everywhere else, are expected to file Q1 fundraising reports no later than 11:59 PM on April 15.
Expect updates as data is provided.