After loan to congressional campaign, William Figlesthaler closes quarter with $1 million in cash on hand
Dr. William Figlesthaler, a candidate for Congress, says his campaign will focus on helping people through the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Jacob Ogles

He's put just $1 million in candidate loans into the campaign.

Naples Republican William Figlesthaler closed the first quarter of 2020 with more than $1 million in cash on hand.

But he’s loaned about that amount to his Congressional campaign.

The physician in his first full quarter as a candidate pulled in $151,983 in new donations. That brings his total contributions up to $276,279. He’s also received $3,000 in PAC contributions.

He also dropped another $650,000 candidate loan into his coffers in the first quarter of 2020. Combined with money he put in at the end of 2019, that means he’s put just north of $1 million into the race, close to all the cash available to the account as of the end of March.

And the campaign has been busy, spending $298,573 to raise Figlesthaler’s recognition in a field of nine Republican candidates, four of whom hold office now.

He’s facing state Reps. Dane Eagle, Byron Donalds and Heather Fitzenhagen, along with Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson.

Donalds announced last week he had raised $335,000 in donations since jumping into the race in January.

But FIglesthaler has out-raised Fitzenhagen, who has pulled in around $111,000 since launching her campaign.

Eagle pulled in more outside dollars in 2019 than any candidate at the time, around $422,000. Eagle raised about $130,000 in the first quarter of this year.

Figlesthaler has largely campaigned as an outsider in the race, but does have competition in that role. He’s outlasted pundit Ford O’Connell, who dropped out last month.

But in the last couple weeks, fast food mogul Casey Askar has jumped into the race himself, raising upwards of $500,000 in less than two weeks and pulling a $3 million candidate loan.

Of course, Askar seeks out the outsider lane after months of Figlesthaler ads blasted Southwest Florida airwaves.

The “Dr. Fig” campaign first established the candidate with quirky and sometimes bizarre advertising that raised him from obscurity into serious contention for the seat.

As the COVID-19 pandemic struck the region’s he’s shifted toward messaging that stresses his medical background while funding public-service style outreach.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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