Financial advisor David Holden holds a cash lead over university professor Cindy Banyai in a Southwest Florida Democratic congressional race.
Holden pulled in $59,760, bringing his total contributions to $117,838.
In comparison, Banyai raised $17,762, and has raised $30,656 since launching her campaign.
Of course, neither candidate had as successful a quarter as the leading Republicans running to succeed Rep. Francis Rooney in Florida’s 19th Congressional District.
But Holden, who challenged Rooney in 2018 and won just under 38% of the vote, has maintained Democrats could perform better with an open seat this year. His 2018 polling showed he won independents last campaign, so if Republicans feel less enthusiasm for President Donald Trump amid the pandemic, there’s an opportunity for gains.
“If we can’t have a deeper conversation now, I don’t know when it will happen,” he told Florida Politics.
Banyai stressed she’s running a grassroots campaign focused on people and outreach.
“I am proud of what my team and I have been able to accomplish,” she said.
“Even in the midst of this global pandemic, we were able to continue reaching out to donors. I cannot thank these donors enough for believing in me and my campaign and donating during such uncertain times.”
She stressed that’s not loaned money to her campaign. Holden put $45,000 into coffers in his initial fundraising quarter. $20,000 has been paid back.
Banyai has also received some free media for spearheading a movement to get Florida elections officials to waive or reduce ballot qualification requirements because of the pandemic. She had intended to qualify by petition but could not collect signatures in the weeks before a deadline last month.
As the end of the quarter, Holden reported a total of $31,696 available in cash on hand. Banyai had $11,706.
The deadline in Florida for candidates to pay their $10,440 qualification fee is noon on April 24. The Democratic primary will be held Aug. 18.