U.S. Rep. Val Demings started off the week touting her 2021 fundraising, with her campaign sending a message to incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
In a media release proclaiming she has “the most funds of any Senate challenger in Florida history,” the Orlando Democrat’s campaign said she raised $7.1 million in the last three months of 2021 and carried a formidable $8.1 million war chest into 2022.
“We are so grateful for every supporter who has stepped up to beat career politician Marco Rubio and send Chief Demings to the United States Senate,” said Demings Campaign Manager Zack Carroll.
“Our campaign is building a grassroots movement in every corner of this state that’s fired up and ready to hold Rubio accountable for failing to fight for Florida’s working families. With our fundraising, we are taking our message to every voter and leaving no community behind in our historic fight for Florida. We’ve built strong momentum, and the army of grassroots donors supporting Chief Demings will continue to drive this campaign to victory in November,” Carroll added.
We have reached out to Rubio’s campaign officials to see if they were willing to share data, but thus far the campaign has not released any toplines in response to those provided by the Demings campaign.
Demings’ fundraising is actually down from the third quarter of 2021, when she raked in $8.4 million for her U.S. Senate campaign — more than any challenger had raised at that stage of a Senate campaign in Florida history.
It is likely Rubio still has the cash-on-hand advantage. Through the end of October, the Senator had roughly $12 million on hand. Last quarter, he gave the numbers to Fox News first, shortly after Demings released hers.
Expect Rubio to continue to stress Demings is a serious opponent, as he did last year when he said she could raise $200 million on Fox News Radio.
“Val Demings is going to raise over $150 million. I mean, $200 million. I mean, these guys, they send out emails, this whole liberal infrastructure gets fired up. Every Republican was outraised last cycle. So she’ll be formidable. She’s going to raise a ton of money online. I mean, she’s going to post huge numbers, OK?” Rubio said in June.