Online provocateur Laura Loomer continues to raise large amounts of money for her congressional bid — and spending it just as quickly.
But when looking at her reported receipts, another oddity about the polarizing candidate jumps out: In the third quarter of 2021, Loomer didn’t report a penny’s worth of contributions from Florida’s 11th Congressional District.
Loomer listed raising $106,277 over the quarter, but the bulk of that came from out of state. The 26 donations that did come from Florida primarily came from South Florida.
So does Loomer, to be fair. She went to Barry University in Miami and operated for years out of the region as an online journalist for right-wing sites like Project Veritas, only recently discovering the appeal of West Central Florida.
After challenging Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel in 2020 (losing by 20 percentage points), Loomer filed to run again. But just last month, she decided to abandon a bid in Florida’s 21st Congressional District and instead challenge Republican Rep. Dan Webster in conservative CD 11. The change is recent enough much of her quarterly fundraising paperwork still lists her as a candidate in CD 21.
As for donors, a few may live close enough to show Loomer around the district, but none live in CD 11 under its current configuration. June Lang of Eustis gave $52 from just east of the district. Erik Finman of Davenport to the south donated a full $1,000.
Lines could change, of course, when the Florida Legislature completes a redistricting process early next year.
But money’s money; the bottom line is Loomer raises a lot of it. She spends it, too. In the third quarter alone, she disbursed $54,187, just over half the amount raised in the same three-month period.
That marks a fiscally conservative quarter. Looking at spending over the entire 2022 election cycle, Loomer has raised $207,220 but spent $167,304. That means she already consumed 80.7% of her financial resources for the whole cycle.
For his part, Webster, in the face of a Primary challenge, has also stepped up spending. He raised $62,923 in the third quarter — much of it from constituents — and spent $52,863 of it. But over the election cycle, he raised $267,575, or $60,354 more than Loomer, spending $165,343.
That’s only part of the story. Webster hasn’t faced a serious campaign in years and had money stockpiled. The incumbent reported $312,933 in cash on hand at the end of September, and Loomer had just $70,831.