State Rep. Ben Diamond has raised over $380,000 in the eight weeks since launching his run for Florida’s 13th Congressional District in hopes of succeeding U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.
His second quarter haul is slightly higher than that of primary opponent Eric Lynn, who reported raising more than $368,000 for the same period. However, Lynn holds north of $500,000 cash-on-hand from previous fundraising.
The St. Petersburg Democrat reports that a majority of donors this period came from “grassroots contributors” — individuals who donated $100 or less.
Diamond’s campaign provided the latest finance update. More information on expenditures and donors will be available when he releases his required campaign finance disclosure to the Federal Elections Commission.
“I am grateful and humbled to see such positive community support and growing momentum for our campaign,” Diamond said in a statement. “We are seeing support from every corner of the district, and we will need that support to win in November of next year.”
Diamond, a lawyer who previously served as general counsel to former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, was first elected to the Florida House in 2016 and has been reelected twice, in 2018 and 2020. The Democratic Caucus in the House voted to install him as Minority Leader in 2022, but Diamond is leaving that leadership post behind to run for Congress.
Diamond faces Lynn, a former national security adviser in the Barack Obama administration, as well as fellow state legislator Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby in the Democratic Primary. Rayner-Goolsby has yet to release financial information since she launched her campaign in mid-June.
On the other side of the aisle is GOP candidate Anna Paulina Luna, who ran unsuccessfully against Crist last year but performed better than some expected against a well-funded incumbent. She faces William Braddock so far in the Republican Primary, although it is unclear if Braddock will continue in the race after recordings leaked of him allegedly threatening to kill Luna.
Luna filed an injunction against Braddock, and is set to have a hearing on July 9, with a temporary restraining order against Braddock in effect.
As one of the most competitive districts in the state, according to the Cook Political Report, CD 13 will likely draw high fundraising numbers among credible candidates. In last year’s race, Luna and Crist had hauls exceeding $1 million.
Heading into last year’s presidential election, Republicans, through a massive voter registration effort that will continue into the 2022 midterms, chipped away at the Democratic advantage in the Pinellas County district from 5.2 percentage points to just 4.6.
And with redistricting on the horizon, Republicans leading the process could narrow that even more by shifting district boundaries northward, though they may be reluctant to get too creative with redistricting after the Florida Supreme Court foiled their last attempts to draw a map favorable to the GOP.