SD 39 candidates each spend more than $70K during latest two-week reporting period as race enters final stages

fernandezvrodriguez (1)
Republican Ana Maria Rodriguez maintains a cash-on-hand advantage over Democrat Javier Fernández.

Campaign spending in one of the biggest Senate races in the state is ramping up, as the candidates for Senate District 39 enter the final few weeks of the General Election.

Republican Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez once again outraised her Democratic opponent, Rep. Javier Fernández. Both candidates spent big, however, with each dropping at least $73,000 in the latest two-week reporting period.

Those reports cover activity from Sept. 19-Oct. 2. Rodriguez churned through more than $73,000 between her campaign and political committee, Ethics and Honesty in Government. Fernández spent more than $103,000 in campaign costs between his campaign account and Florida Future, a political committee backing his bid.

The bulk of that money — $100,000 — went from the Fernández campaign account to Screen Strategies Media for TV ad expenses. Screen Strategies Media is a Virginia-based advertising firm.

Florida Future’s listed expenses were actually more than $177,000. But included in that pot is a $175,000 contribution to the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Florida Future has routinely shipped out large sums of cash to other PC’s, somewhat obfuscating whether the plentiful contributions to Florida Future will go toward the Fernández bid or be shipped right out to another organization.

As for Rodriguez, she spent nearly $30,000 with The Miranda Group for direct mail, voter contact and consulting expenditures. The campaign also spent more than $16,000 on Facebook ads from Sept. 19-Oct. 2.

The surge in spending comes just ahead of the one-month-to-go mark ahead of the Nov. 3 General Election. With GOP Sen. Anitere Flores being term-limited in a purported swing district, both parties are putting serious effort into securing this seat this fall.

The full Senate Democratic caucus has endorsed Fernández while Republican Senate leadership has backed Rodriguez. While this is a GOP-held seat, Democrats actually have a slight voter registration advantage in the district.

Rodriguez was the better fundraiser once again. She added more than $137,000 between her campaign and PC. Fernández added more than $290,000, but again that includes the $175,000 immediately shipped out to the Senate Dems’ PC. Deduct that chunk, which isn’t going toward campaign expenses, and Fernández raised nearly $116,000. It’s unclear whether that full pot of money will go toward the campaign or be transferred in the coming weeks.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition gave $1,000 to the Fernández campaign, as did the United Faculty of Florida’s PAC and several law firms. Comcast donated $1,000 to Rodriguez. She courted maxed-out donations from various health care and pharmaceutical companies as well.

Rodriguez received more than $24,000 in in-kind contributions from the Senate GOP, covering polling and consulting costs. Senate Dems contributed more than $21,000 in in-kind costs to Fernández in the form of staff and consulting.

Going forward, Rodriguez will maintain her massive cash-on-hand advantage. She holds more than $742,000 while Fernández retains nearly $185,000.

Non-party affiliated candidate Celso Alfonso also has qualified in the contest but has not raised any outside money and is not expected to compete for the seat.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    October 10, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Fernandez for the WIN! Vote Democrat up and down ballot for the common good!

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn