The latest fundraising reports show Democratic Sen. José Javier Rodríguez maintaining his fundraising edge over Republican challenger Ileana Garcia, as Garcia raised less than $4,400 in the most recent two-week period.
Those reports cover financial activity from Sept. 5-18. The incumbent has routinely topped Garcia in the money game. But Garcia’s latest numbers aren’t just low when compared to her opponent. They’re low even when compared to her own previous fundraising.
In the prior two-week span, Garcia raised more than $26,000. It’s true that was among her best fundraising periods of the cycle. But even looking at Garcia’s previous two-week hauls, her latest haul is arguably her worst of the cycle, coming just weeks before the Nov. 3 General Election.
Garcia raised more than $7,400 from June 13-26. That total dropped to just under $5,000 from June 27-July 10. Over the next two-week span, she raised more than $6,000. All of those totals top Garcia’s newest numbers.
Her political committee, No More Socialism, once again showed $0 in new contributions as well.
Non-party affiliated candidate Alex Rodriguez is also seeking the seat and has yet to raise any money in outside cash as of Sept. 18.
As for Sen. Rodríguez, he added nearly $35,000 through his campaign account in the most recent reporting period. That included $1,000 from former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer and another $1,000 from his wife, Kat Taylor.
Initiative for Florida’s Future, a political committee associated with the Sen. Rodríguez reelection bid, added $83,000. That total is slightly misleading, however. The PC also shipped $195,000 to the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. That means much of the money total was simply passed through his committee and wasn’t actually used for campaign expenses.
The Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee did help out Sen. Rodríguez with nearly $13,000 in in-kind contributions. That money went toward campaign staff salaries, consulting costs and internet service.
By comparison, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee put just $27 and change toward Garcia’s bid.
That begs the question as to just how serious a challenge Garcia will be able to mount against the incumbent going forward. Sen. Rodríguez holds nearly $310,000 in cash on hand. That’s nearly triple Garcia’s total of $105,000.
The district covers portions of Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest. Candidates and political committees faced a Friday deadline to report all financial activity through Sept. 18.