Republican Maria Elvira Salazar is leading Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala in fundraising once again. But Salazar still trails in available cash for the final days of the race for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.
Salazar added more than $236,000 from Oct 1-14 as compared to nearly $189,000 for Shalala.
While Salazar appeared to also outspend the incumbent by an $880,000-$818,000 margin, that margin is slightly misleading. Salazar’s total includes a $70,000 contribution to the Republican Party of Florida, which may not directly help Salazar’s campaign. Deduct that item, and Shalala outspent her opponent by a few thousand dollars during the period.
Shalala now has a nearly $245,000 cash advantage heading into the campaign’s final stretch. As of Oct. 14, Shalala holds close to $666,000, while Salazar retains more than $421,000. Salazar also has around $120,000 of debt outstanding.
Salazar has been a strong fundraiser this cycle, often — but not always — topping Shalala in fundraising since Salazar entered the race in Aug. 2019. Shalala, however, has been raising money for the full two-year cycle and has topped Salazar in overall money raised, leading $3.6 million to $3.1 million.
That allowed Shalala to keep pace with Salazar’s spending total in the first two weeks of October. Ad buys are unsurprisingly eating up the bulk of each candidate’s spending at this stage of the game. Shalala spent nearly $568,000 with AIDEM for advertisements. She spent more than $139,000 with Palm Media on direct mail costs.
Salazar spent nearly $631,000 on media buys with the Virginia-based Smart Media Group.
Candidates and campaign committees faced a Thursday deadline to report all financial activity through Oct. 14. Since that date, candidates have continued submitting fundraising information via 48-Hour Notices. Within 20 days of an election, all donations of $1,000 or more must be reported separately to the FEC. That requirement remains in effect until 48 hours before Election Day.
Shalala recently received a $2,000 boost from a PAC associated with Comcast and NBC Universal. Giffords PAC, a group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords that advocates for stricter gun control, also donated $1,000 to Shalala earlier this week.
A recent Shalala internal poll put her lead in the race at 7 points. This year’s race is a rematch of the 2018 contest which saw Shalala win by 6 percentage points. A mid-September survey from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) showed Salazar with a 46%-43% lead.