Democratic candidate Oz Vazquez added just over $116,000 in the first quarter of 2020, putting him more than $600,000 short of incumbent U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s haul during that same period.
Vazquez is seeking to challenge the Republican in an effort to flip his seat in Florida’s 18th Congressional District.
But so far, Vazquez has failed to keep up with Mast’s fundraising pace this cycle. Vazquez pulled in just over $185,000 in the final quarter of 2019 after filing for the contest in early October. That number, too, was around $600,000 short of Mast.
Vazquez has added more than $300,000 in total since joining the race. But he has just $98,000 of that still on hand.
Mast, meanwhile, has collected more than $3 million this cycle alone and has more than $1.5 million remaining.
Vazquez is an attorney with experience working as a Deputy Solicitor General in Florida under the Attorney General’s office. He’s attempting to nab the seat for Democrats after former Barack Obama administrations official Lauren Baer fell short in 2018.
Baer lost that race by 8 percentage points. That’s a significant gap Vazquez is seeking to close this time around.
The task is made all that more difficult by Mast’s continued dominance in the fundraising game. Baer was competitive in 2018 fundraising, even managing to at times outraise Mast. Yet come November, Mast still held onto his seat.
Mast is facing a primary challenge from former police officer Nick Vessio as well.
So far, Vessio has also struggled to build up a comparable bankroll to Mast’s. Vessio loaned his campaign about $46,000 in the fourth quarter on 2019 on top of a few hundred dollars in outside donations. Vessio followed that up by adding just over $5,600 in the first quarter — $5,000 of which came from another self-loan.
CD 18 covers all of St. Lucie and Martin counties as well as northeastern Palm Beach County, including Tequesta, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens and part of West Palm Beach.
Federal campaigns faced a Wednesday deadline to report all financial activity through March 31.