Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried‘s political committee has raised $21,000 so far in July, putting her committee at the bottom of the fundraising race for Governor.
Since the Democrat from South Florida publicly confirmed she was considering challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis nearly a year ago, her committee, Florida Consumers First, has raised close to $1.4 million, and it’s operating with $1.8 million on hand. More than a quarter of that, $437,000, has come since she officially launched her campaign last month.
Yet her pace has slowed considerably in the first three weeks of July. From 45 donations so far this month, her committee has received only $21,000, buoyed by two $10,000 donations — one from the Levin Papantonio Rafferty law firm and one from CBD entrepreneur Hussein Rakine.
However, the bulk of June’s donations to the committee came in the final week of that month. More than half the overall contributions made that month came on June 30.
“We’re on track to win the Primary and roll full steam ahead into the General to defeat Ron DeSantis,” said Fried campaign spokesman Max Flugrath.
Each month’s end is a deadline for candidates hoping to make a strong fundraising showing, particularly when it’s the end of their first month on the campaign trail.
While Fried holds the distinction as the last Democrat to win statewide and the only one holding statewide office now, she won that title by a close margin. She defeated Republican Matt Caldwell by just 6,753 votes out of more than 8 million cast in the 2018 Agriculture Commissioner race, a contest conceded only after mandatory machine and manual recounts confirmed her victory.
Before jumping into electoral politics, Fried was a medical marijuana lobbyist. Financial disclosures from her time in the industry caused her campaign some early heartburn after updating prior years’ earnings with an additional $517,000 of income.
Fried trails her Democratic Primary rival U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist in fundraising. His committee, Friends of Charlie Crist, has raked in $61,000 this month alone and sits with $1.4 million on hand.
Fried’s first-month haul, across both her personal account and her committee, also fell considerably short of her Crist’s. The former Governor raked in roughly $1.5 million in his first month.
Nevertheless, both candidates are millions shy of competing with DeSantis’ war chest, which benefits from his national stardom among conservatives. Not only does he lead both Democrats in polls for the gubernatorial race, but he leads Republicans in the 2024 presidential Primary when former President Donald Trump is off the ballot.
His political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, has raked in $537,000 so far this month. What’s more, the fundraising behemoth boasts more than $45 million on hand.