Ben Diamond leads CD 13 fundraising, collects $300K in Q3

Diamond, Ben - 7
Republican opponent Amanda Makki followed close behind.

State Rep. Ben Diamond came out on top as the highest fundraiser among the six candidates campaigning for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

That’s according to the latest campaign finance data, which candidates submitted Friday to the Federal Elections Commission. The latest reports cover Quarter 3, which spans from July 1 through Sept. 30.

Diamond reported the highest amount of money among the candidates both in Q3 and in total fundraising. In Q3, the St. Petersburg Democrat’s campaign raised $303,282 and spent $116,401. Since launching his campaign in May, he has raised $693,466 and spent $168,683, leaving him with $524,783 cash on hand.

The second highest Q3 fundraiser is Republican challenger Amanda Makki, who unsuccessfully ran against fellow candidate Anna Paulina Luna in the 2020 GOP Primary for CD 13. Makki collected $295,789 in Q3 after entering the race in mid-July. She has collected a total of $302,430 so far, which includes a $6,640 vendor refund.

Makki’s lower overall fundraising likely comes from a later start to her campaign compared to the other candidates, but with high numbers in a shorter period, she will likely make her way as a top fundraiser. The top candidates have a three month advantage on Makki, who launched her campaign in mid-July.

And, Makki is spending wisely, only dishing out $17,280 so far, leaving her with $285,331 cash on hand.

“There is momentum among conservatives in Pinellas County to elect a candidate who can win in CD 13 and help flip the House of Representatives back to red next November,” Makki said in a statement. “It was an honor to be invited into so many homes, businesses, and gatherings throughout Pinellas County to speak face-to-face with voters who are as passionate as I am. The numbers we’re reporting today reveal the confidence they have in me, my campaign, and my commitment to winning this race.”

Republican opponent Luna, who joined the race back in May, narrowly outraised Eric Lynn for Q3, collecting $231,575. She has raised $492,956 since kicking-off her campaign.

Luna has also come in as the biggest spender so far, dishing out $251,029 in Q3 alone, and $364,291 total. Like Lynn, Luna started the race with some additional cash on hand — $39,254 — rolled over from her previous bid for CD 13, which she lost to outgoing-incumbent U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist. With that boost, she’ll be entering October with $169,373 cash on hand.

Democratic candidate Lynn collected $220,593 in Q3. He has so far raised $589,417 since entering the race in May, and currently has the most cash on hand at $634,528, a total boosted by $140,371 left over from previous campaigning.

The latest candidate to enter the race, Republican Audrey Henson, has collected a total of $206,335, which accounts for her Q3 report and her campaign total. She’s also keeping spending low, only dishing out $6,811 so far, leaving her with $199,523 cash on hand.

Freshman state Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby also joined the race a bit later in mid-June. Rayner-Goolsby’s campaign raised $156,102 in Q3, along with spending $70,343. So far, she has collected  $228,881, and will enter October with $138,496 cash on hand.

“Since this campaign launched in June, we have seen legislative attacks on reproductive rights unfold nationwide and our working class feeling the burden of underpaying jobs and a lack of equitable healthcare access,” Rayner-Goolsby said in a statement. “I am so thankful that our message of an America that works for everyone is resonating with folks from all walks of life who understand and support an advocate for the people who will represent us as a member of Congress and just how crucial keeping Fl-13 blue is to protecting our democracy.”

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.

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.

Correction: A previous version of this article reported Rayner-Goolsby’s campaign raised $142,102 in Q3, when her campaign raised $156,102. 

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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