State Rep. Ben Diamond has raised nearly $700,000 since launching his campaign for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, his campaign announced Wednesday.
That fundraising includes $300,000 collected during the third quarter, which closed last week.
Nearly half of the contributors during the last fundraising quarter were first-time donors to Diamond, according to his campaign. Roughly 50% of the donors also gave $100 or less.
As of Oct. 1, Diamond has more than $500,000 cash on hand, putting him in line with opponent Eric Lynn, who reported having north of $500,000 cash on hand in July.
Lynn’s campaign is still tabulating contributions for the latest quarter, it told Florida Politics.
“I am encouraged and humbled by the support and reception our campaign is receiving,” Diamond said in a statement. “I think this is a reflection of our deep roots in the community, and it indicates that the issues I have worked most closely on are the ones voters care most deeply about. Those issues include protecting the environment, advocating for affordable health care and ensuring equal rights for all regardless of gender, race or ethnicity. Those are the priorities I will continue to emphasize in Washington.”
Diamond, who currently represents Florida House District 68 in St. Petersburg, is running to replace U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who is leaving office to run for Governor.
The CD 13 race is expected to be one of the most competitive in the state, and perhaps the nation. Crist’s departure from the seat leaves a key opening for the GOP to reclaim a seat that, before Crist’s election in 2016, had been under Republican control for decades.
Diamond faces Lynn, a former President Barack Obama staffer, and state Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby in the Democratic Primary next year. If he wins his party’s nomination, he’ll face one of three Republicans vying for the GOP nod, including Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna and former Lisa Murkowski adviser Amanda Makki, who both ran for the seat last year, as well as new GOP entrant Audrey Henson, a nonprofit founder.
CD 13, which covers parts of mid and south Pinellas County, currently has a Democratic advantage. But that could change ahead of next year’s election as state lawmakers begin the process of redrawing district boundaries.
More information on other candidates will be available when required campaign finance disclosures are filed with the Federal Elections Commission, due Oct. 15.