Cindy Banyai claims she’s outraising David Holden. Is that really accurate?
David Holden, Cindy Banyai

Holden Banyai
Math checks out if you don't count loans or money donated before April.

Fort Myers Democrat Cindy Banyai announced she outraised primary opponent David Holden in the race for Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

But that’s only true if money put in by Holden isn’t counted toward the total, and then only looking at the second quarter of 2020 exclusively. Holden continues to hold a significant cash-on-hand advantage in the race.

“The second quarter Federal Election Commission fundraising reports were filed this week and the results show Dr. Cindy Banyai raised a little over $12,000 more than her primary challenger,” Banyai claimed in a campaign release.

Holden’s second quarter report shows $54,373 raised by his campaign in the second quarter. Banyai’s report shows she raised $45,909 in the same the period covering April 1-June 30.

Banyai’s release claiming momentum in contributions appears to be based on outside donations alone. Holden reported a $20,500 loan during the second quarter, raising $33,874 in contributions. Banyai’s money for the quarter, meanwhile, all comes from donors.

“People who have access to a lot of wealth can throw innumerable amounts of wealth into a race,” Banyai said. “What this really shows is a grassroots campaign working hard with widespread donations coming in.”

That said, while Banyai received more in donations in April, May and June, Holden still collected more in donations since jumping into the race.

Holden’s total contributions to date stand at $151,712, with the candidate also putting in $65,500 in total loans.

Banyai, meanwhile, received a total of $76,878 in donations, including $869 in candidate contributions.

Holden said he wants to prove a personal commitment to the race as well. But outside contributions show he’s also building support for a campaign he effectively started two years ago, when he was the Democratic nominee against now-outgoing U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney.

“My wife Streeter and I have invested in the campaign because we believe in it,” Holden said. “We have grassroots support across the district. I am doing everything I can to get out the vote from now until the end of the election.”

Ultimately, Holden reports he had $54,582 in cash on hand available as of the end of June. Banyai had $20,181.

There are other peculiarities in Banyai’s report. For example, the candidate accepted $4,000 in salary in the month of June. The Florida Gulf Coast University professor said she had a course canceled by the university because of the pandemic, and has seen consulting client work decline as well. She’s also separating from her husband.

“My team and I decided to keep me afloat and not lose my house, I would take a salary draw from the campaign,” she said.

Both Democrats are running for an open seat in a heavily Republican district, one where five of the nine Republican candidates vying for the same seat report more cash on hand than both Democrats combined.

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]

One comment

  • Beryl Mosley

    July 19, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    where are the candidates platform

Comments are closed.


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