Florida Republicans double Democrats in pre-primary fundraising

Elephant and donkey on top of stacked coins
The Republican Party of Florida has raised $5.6 million since April 1.

The Republican Party of Florida posted its best fundraising report in nearly two years, with more than $5.6 million raised between April 1 and Aug. 13.

The haul came in across 233 contributions with the average check weighing in at just over $24,000.

Among the top contributors in the runup to the primary elections were Rep. Paul Renner’s political committees Conservatives for Principled Leadership and Rep. Daniel PerezConservatives for a Better Florida. They each $265,000 and $250,000, respectively.

RPOF also took in $100,000 checks from Duke Energy, Florida Power & Light, TECO Energy and the Associated Industries of Florida, while 20-plus other entities chipped in $50,000 or more over the four-and-a-half month reporting period.

The bounty was offset by just over $3.1 million in spending, leaving the party with about $24.1 million on hand on Aug. 13.

RPOF’s total more than doubled that of the Florida Democratic Party, which raised $2.15 million over the same stretch.

FDP’s haul was spread across 195 contributions for an average give of about $11,000.

Top contributors included Atlanta-based Fair Fight PAC at $107,000. Other notables on the list were Broward First, a political committee tied to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, and megadonor Barbara Stiefel, who chipped in $25,000.

Florida Democrats were nearer to parity with RPOF on expenditures, shelling out just over $2.3 million over the course of the reporting period.

Major expenditures included a $350,000 transfer to the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the party’s state Senate campaign arm, and a $200,000 check to the Arizona Democratic Party. FDP also spent $160,000 on Facebook ads, the reports show.

Florida Democrats had about $15.5 million in the party account on Aug. 13.

Party executive committees and party affiliated committees faced a Friday deadline to turn in finance reports covering activity through Aug. 13. Their next fundraising reports, covering Aug. 14 through Oct. 29, are due on Oct. 30.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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