Michele Rayner-Goolsby raises $72K in two weeks for CD13 campaign

She is running for one of the most hotly contested districts in the state.

State Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby has raised just over $72,000 in the first two weeks since announcing her entrance into the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

The funding accounts for this year’s second quarterly report, which covers the months of April, May and June. The $72,000 represents only 14 days of her campaign, however, since Rayner-Goolsby entered the race with just two weeks left until the end of quarter. 

Rayner-Goolsby’s campaign provided the latest finance update. More information on expenditures and donors will be available when she releases her required campaign finance disclosure to the Federal Elections Commission.

“I am thrilled by the outpouring of support we’ve seen already in just the first days and weeks of our campaign,” Rayner-Goolsby said in a statement. “As we keep this momentum growing, there will be more opportunities to get involved to ensure that we keep this crucial seat Democratic in 2022. I am in this race to help my community, the community that raised me. Through people power and community input, I know what a difference we can make in Congress for the people of FL-13.”

Although showing good fundraising numbers in the short time since entering the race, Rayner-Goolsby will have to double-down next quarter to catch up on missed time on such a high-stakes race.

Democratic opponent Eric Lynn raised more than $368,000 in the second quarter, his first finance report since launching his campaign in mid-May. He also reports more than $500,000 in available spending money. Fellow state Rep. Ben Diamond has raised more than $380K for his congressional bid in Q2, his campaign recently announced. Rayner-Goolsby faces the pair in the Democratic Primary.

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. Luna is currently the only Republican candidate after William Braddock dropped out of the race following allegations of threats against Luna.

As one of the most competitive districts in the state, according to the Cook Political ReportCD 13 will likely draw high fundraising numbers among credible opponents. In last year’s campaigns, 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.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]

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