John Rutherford nears $750K on hand for reelection bid
John Rutherford keeps banking. Image via Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.

John Rutherford
Congressman has a primary, but the real action is November.

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, the former Jacksonville Sheriff seeking his third term in Washington, has nearly three quarters of a million dollars ahead of the August primary, according to records filed with the Federal Elections Commission this week.

All told, the Northeast Florida Republican has $742,025 on hand according to the pre-primary report going through July 29,

The Congressman from Florida’s 4th Congressional District raised $98,475 in the first 28 days of the month, spending $57,479 in the same period.

Rutherford’s local donors included state Rep. Wyman Duggan, lobbyist Marty Fiorentino and strategist/lobbyist Susie Wiles. Corporate backers in July included Verizon and Boeing.

The incumbent does have a primary opponent, in the form of self-funding Navy veteran Erick Aguilar. Unfortunately for Aguilar, he’s at a cash disadvantage, with less than $4,000 on hand.

Assuming Rutherford survives the August ballot challenge, he will face Democrat Donna Deegan in November.

Deegan, who has no ballot opposition this month, has already secured the nomination. However, compared to previous Democratic opponents the Congressman has faced, the former Jacksonville market TV journalist will have the resources to message.

As of the pre-primary report going through July 29, Deegan had $297,083 on hand, after raising $66,555 and spending $35,112 in the same period. But through the whole month, Deegan raised nearly $111,000, with $340,000 on hand as of this writing.

Among Deegan’s recent local donations were prominent names such as former 4th Circuit State Attorney Harry Shorstein and Ambassador Nancy Soderberg.

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, he has been protected by a combination of strong name identification, underwhelming challengers and a robust Republican plurality.

GOP voters account for 297,712 of the district’s 607,634 registered voters, compared to 170,254 Democrats, with independents and third-party registrants making up the balance, according to August bookclosing reports provided by the Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Jeffrey Sutton

    August 7, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Rutherford is a Trump stooge who puts Trump’s interests above his constituents. Even conservatives know they get nothing from him in North Florida.

  • Sonja Fitch

    August 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Rutherford walked away from the JSO disaster!! Racist unlawful JSO officers!! Rutherfords trick was to soothe the public with his bs! The shootings and killings are still daily! Sheriff Williams ain’t the smartest or the best but he tries. Kind of reminds me of duffus Desantis and Nazi Rick! Plus Rutherford does not move unless blessed by the goptrump cult leader Trump! Vote Blue for you and me!

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