Outside spending floods CD 19 airwaves, mailboxes — mostly helping Byron Donalds

Rush of spending comes less than a week from GOP primary.

A look at campaign coffers tells only part of the story of who has the resources to win in Florida’s 19th Congressional District, but outside spending over the last few days flooded into Southwest Florida.

Much of the outside money went to either boost Naples lawmaker Byron Donalds or tear down his opponents.

One exception was Honesty America. The Super PAC, which has ties to fast food mogul Casey Askar’s campaign, pumped another $13,268 into media placements that will target Donalds. The committee has put up ads against several candidates in the race, including William Figlesthaler and Dane Eagle. But the group may ultimately focus on Donalds.

Still, the bulk of recent outside expenditures seemed to benefit Donalds one way or the other.

On Tuesday, the Conservative Outsider PAC reported several expenditures. That includes a $142,142 television ad and $9,220 on a mail piece, both hitting Eagle. That group is financially tied to Club for Growth, which has endorsed Donalds in the race. The Conservative Outsider PAC last month received a $250,000 donation from the Protect Freedom PAC, which just received $150,000 from Club For Growth Action in May on top of a $1.2 million donation in January.

The Club For Growth PAC directly invested another $26,500 into mail blasting Askar, one of the group’s frequent targets.

Also on Tuesday, the American Liberty Fund put $10,000 into ads supporting Donalds. The PAC made similar expenditures for Laura Loomer in Florida’s 21st Congressional District and Amanda Makki in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. The fund has primarily been funded by Topper Lewis, president of Jupiter-based Fast Food Systems.

Trusted Conservatives on Tuesday spent $82,025 in the race, including $46,139 promoting Donalds, $15,380 beating up Eagle and $10,253 hitting Figlesthaler and Askar. All that went into mailers, which the group has already shipped to mailboxes before. The Super PAC, connected to Florida campaign accountant Eric Robinson, has received hardy donations from the PAC Friends of Byron Donalds.

Americans for Prosperity Action also spent $24,452 on mailers supporting Donalds, who the Charles Koch-connected organization previously endorsed.

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

  • Garry M.

    August 13, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Who knew, only costs $3,000,000 to buy a politician from SWFL. Byron can say all he wants that he will stand up for his constituents, but the Swamp’s got him already.

Comments are closed.


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