Casey Askar maintains CD 19 cash lead, with more than Byron Donalds, Dane Eagle, ‘Dr. Fig’ combined

Askar Donalds Eagle Figlesthaler
Latest FEC reports make clear primary has become a four-person race.

Who still has money to spend in the GOP primary in Florida’s 19th Congressional District?

Naples businessman Casey Askar holds a strong cash lead, with $912,201 left in cash on hand as of July 29. But he’s dipping further into his own pocket to finance his campaign.

Regardless, he has triple the cash in the bank of his nearest competitor. Rep. Byron Donalds reports $301,539 available. Stet Rep. Dane Eagle holds $250,217. Naples physician William Figlesthaler still has $240,611.

There’s a wide gap between the top four and the five other Republicans in the field. Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson had $40,508 left. Collier Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Kowal has $19,688. Disabilities advocate Darren Aquino still has $10,981 . Ave Maria law grad Christy McLaughlin sits on $7,737. Former Minnesota lawmaker Dan Severson is down to $2,947.

But the wide gap in cash resources, combined with polling consistently pointing to the same lead players, reinforces that 10 days out from the primary, this has become a four-person race.

Askar, almost since entering the race, surged to the top thanks to a willingness to spend out of pocket. He’s put a $3 million loan into the race, and while some question if the loan is proper, Askar has had no problems spending it.

Through the reporting period, he’s pumped more than $2.77 million into the race, more than any competitor. That’s primarily from the loan, but he has pulled in $686,916 in outside contributions as well. That’s come even as the cash frontrunner faces increasing scrutiny on his own record.

Figlesthaler, the other self-funder, has put $1.94 million worth of loans in the race, and has collected $602,224 on top of that amount. He’s also dipped deep into his loan, having spend $2.3 million thus far.

Much of that has been invested in a new round of round video ads heading to the big day.

But at this point, Figlesthaler has fallen behind Donalds in terms of cash at the ready. The Naples lawmaker has also seen significant outside support. Donations to his campaign total more than $1.18 million, including $493,132 in un-itemized small donations. He’s spent $881,380 on the race, all without any candidate loans.

Donations directly to Donalds’ account also only tell part of the story. Donalds, in recent weeks, earned the endorsements of the political arms for  Club For Growth, Americans For Prosperity and the NRA.

Both state lawmakers in the race have raised more in outside donations than the self-funders. Eagle reports $741,113 in donations to his campaign. He’s also pulled no loans to self-finance the race, and has recently announced professional coalitions within the region.

Eagle has now spent $490,896 on the contest, raising his visibility significantly in the final weeks of the election. That translated into the largest bump of any candidate in a St. Pete Polls survey of likely Republican voters. That same poll found Askar drop from leading the field in early July to showing at fourth in early August. The latest poll notably was taken after the last financial period ended.

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]


4 comments

  • Andrew P.

    August 8, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Askar is, simply, a foreigner with delusions of grandeur. He will not and cannot prove the credentials upon which he campaigns. He needs to remain in private life, keep his nose clean, and come to grips with the need to tell the truth in life.

    • Lorraine C.

      August 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      That’s real rich coming from a Byron supporter. Let’s not forget how Byron lies about his criminal record, lies about who’s funding his campaign and attacks against his opponents ($2M+ from DC special interests – and counting). Oh, how about him lying about his own family while attacking Casey’s? I didn’t see the press ask Byron about his first wife Bisa or why he married a pregnant Erika three weeks after divorcing his first wife. Byron never served his country except as a career politician (lol) and to have the gall to use the press to say Casey hasn’t served because they submitted a form with his name spelled incorrectly – absurd and incredibly hypocritical. Let me know if you want to keep going because I have plenty of other examples to highlight Byron’s hypocrisy, but don’t let Byron fool you – there’s plenty of proof that Byron was the FIRST person to go negative in this campaign, he’s just used his PAC and DC Special Interests to hide it…. I’d be happy to share the receipts allllll day.

      • Kris

        August 9, 2020 at 2:45 am

        This comment is spot on. Byron Donalds has a lot of nerve with his FELONY criminal history. I’ve heard of politicians being arrested for BRIBERY before, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen one with a record of bribery BEFORE being elected!

  • Paula B

    August 9, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Askar is buying the election. He is pure phoney baloney. Where are the Military Discharge Papers, Kousay??? He claims to have graduated from Harvard Business School and it was a certificate degree. He divorces the mother of his children, takes up with his much younger, hotter secretary and now has a young kid with her and calls himself a “family man” – that is a new definition for Naples!

    And all these candidates that say they will blindly support Trump are clueless – if Trump was so popular and managed the Coronavirus so well Biden wouldn’t have a chance. These republicans need to think for themselves.

Comments are closed.


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