Democratic opponent Loranne Ausley overwhelmingly outraised Marva Preston in the latest campaign finance report in Senate District 3.
According to the Friday report, Ausley banked more than $32,000 from Sept. 5 through Sept. 18. Preston, meanwhile, took in roughly $4,460 during the same period.
What’s more, Ausley collected twice as many donations in August. She pulled in $70,228 during the month’s three reporting periods, according to campaign finance records. Preston, on the other hand, collected only $34,670.
In all, Ausley’s campaign holds more than $268,000 while Preston’s campaign has roughly $80,581 on hand.
Ausely is also the Florida 2020 chairperson and associated candidate, a political committee with just over $64,000 as of the latest finance reports.
Despite the district’s strong Democratic leaning and Ausley’s war chest advantage, the Florida Republican Senatorial Committee is betting big on Preston. In the most recent finance period, the committee spent more than $27,900 on Preston’s campaign for consulting and polling. That confidence was also seen throughout August with two checks totaling $32,500 for similar in-kind services.
Notably, Ausley has made clear that she does not care who gives her campaign money. The revelation came during a forum when moderator and Tallahassee Democrat News Director Jim Rosica posed the question.
“Is there any interest group or org that you will not accept a campaign contribution from?”
Ausley answered simply, “No.” And she later doubled down when asked again.
Preston, meanwhile, said she would not take money from Planned Parenthood.
Ausley’s statement was particularly odd considering Ausley has been under attack from Preston over a Paycheck Protection Program loan the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) initially accepted, but later returned after coming under harsh fire. The loans, forgivable under most circumstances, were meant for small businesses, not political organizations.
Ausley has denied taking any PPP money from the FDP.
SD 3 covers all of Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor and Wakulla counties in North Florida.
The election winner will replace term-limited Sen. Bill Montford.