Brian Mast raises nearly $1M in second quarter, ends with more than $1.7M on hand

No Democrats have yet stepped up to file for the seat this cycle.

Republican Rep. Brian Mast pulled in just under $1 million in the second quarter, giving him a hefty war chest to work with as he readies for the 2022 election.

So far, no Democrats have yet filed paperwork to contest Mast’s run in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Two Republican candidates — Melissa Martz and Joe Smith — have filed paperwork to run in 2022.

Only Martz had posted financial reports with the Federal Election Commission as of publication. She raised just over $203,000 in the quarter, but ended the period with just over $5,000 on hand.

Mast, meanwhile, is sitting on more than $1.7 million as of June 30. The three-term incumbent will likely be the favorite next cycle. After first winning the seat in 2016, Mast easily fended off Primary challenges in 2018 and 2020, securing nearly 78% of the vote in 2018 and 86% of the vote in 2020.

Mast followed those Primary contests with fairly comfortable wins in the General Election. He defeated Democratic candidate Lauren Baer 54%-46% in 2018. Last November, Mast grew that margin, securing 56% of the vote against Democrat Pam Keith and non-party affiliated candidate K.W. Miller.

CD 18 has moved right since 2014. Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy narrowly won the seat in 2012 and followed that up with a 20-point win to secure reelection in 2014.

But when Murphy stepped in to challenge Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in 2016, Mast moved in to win the CD 18 seat by 10 points — a 30-point swing in just one cycle.

The district covers parts of northern Palm Beach County — including West Palm Beach — and extends into Martin and St. Lucie counties. According to an analysis by MCI Maps, St. Lucie County saw a sharp swing toward Republicans with Trump on the ballot.

That has led to Mast keeping a hold on the seat since. He has proved an impressive fundraiser, generally able to outspend his opponents. Mast’s most recent report was filled with small-dollar donations as well, including many from across the U.S.

Candidates and political committees faced a Thursday deadline to report all financial activity through June 30.

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].


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