Republican candidate Carlos Giménez is looking to make a run in the race many analysts are calling the closest congressional contest in Florida. But he’ll have to do so at a big money disadvantage.
The newest fundraising reports show Giménez raising less than 30% of what Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell managed to pull in during the period. Mucarsel-Powell added nearly $2 million from July 30 to Sept. 30. Giménez, the current Miami-Dade County Mayor, added less than $550,000.
Mucarsel-Powell was aided by a $230,000 influx from the House Victory Project. Hold the House Victory Fund also put $78,000 toward Mucarsel-Powell’s reelection bid in Florida’s 26th Congressional District.
Perhaps more concerning for Giménez were the expenditures for the period. Giménez spent nearly $790,000 from July 30 to Sept. 30. Mucarsel-Powell was able to drop more than $3.7 million.
Nearly $3.2 million of Mucarsel-Powell’s pot went to Screen Strategies Media as she flooded TV, print and radio outlets with ads pushing for another term. Mucarsel-Powell also spent nearly $237,000 with the Virginia-based firm 76 Words for digital ads and production costs.
Giménez sent more than $294,000 to American Media and Advocacy Group and another $73,000 to The G Media Group for media costs. Giménez also dropped nearly $117,000 with Dark Horse Strategies and nearly $77,000 with Targeted Victory for digital services.
Mucarsel-Powell campaign manager Andrew Markoff argued Giménez “is not raising the resources required to win this race” in a late Thursday statement.
“Carlos Giménez has no enthusiasm behind his campaign, because nobody in Miami wants him anywhere near Congress, and he has become completely dependent on Washington allies to prop up his failed candidacy.”
That assessment aside, plenty of outside money has flooded into the contest on both sides. That’s because both parties see this as a competitive seat. Election forecasters rate the race as a toss-up after Mucarsel-Powell won the seat in 2018 by 2 percentage points. Mucarsel-Powell said she expects her reelection bid to be “one of the toughest” in the country.
She’s continued to dominate in the money game though. Giménez entered the race earlier this year and has failed to top Mucarsel-Powell in a single fundraising period so far. That includes activity during the pre-primary period, which spanned activity from July 1-29.
Adding that pre-primary report to the latest numbers shows Mucarsel-Powell added nearly $2.1 million in the third quarter (July 1-Sept. 30). Giménez raised around $670,000.
“Our campaign is entering the last three weeks with a decisive fundraising and enthusiasm advantage, which the Congresswoman has built through her hard work for this community and lengthy record of delivering for her constituents,” Markoff said.
Mucarsel-Powell ended the period with more than $1 million on hand. Giménez is sitting on around $640,000.
The district covers parts of Miami-Dade County as well as Monroe County. Candidates and campaign committees faced a Thursday deadline to report all financial activity through Sept. 30.