Republican candidate Anna Paulina Luna was the top fundraiser in 2022 for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, according to campaign finance data released by the Federal Election Commission.
Luna’s campaign reported raising $1,017,051 in the 2021 calendar year, putting her ahead of Democratic state Rep. Ben Diamond, who collected a total of $978,956 last year. However, Diamond is working hard to narrow Luna’s lead. His campaign recently announced it crossed the $1 million benchmark in January.
The most recently submitted reports cover the fourth quarter, which started Oct. 1 and ended Dec. 31. In that timeframe, Luna raised $524,094 — making her the highest Q4 fundraiser as well.
But, while Luna collected the most this past year, she also spent the most, dishing out $741,796 throughout 2021. That includes spending $377,505 in Q4 alone.
Diamond ranked second overall in Q4 fundraising and was the top Democratic fundraiser. In that last quarter, Diamond collected $285,490 and spent $124,670.
The race’s next highest Q4 fundraisers are also neck-and-neck. Republican candidate Amanda Makki collected $238,799 in the last quarter, while Democratic candidate Eric Lynn raised $237,432 during that time.
The two also had lower spending in Q4, with Lynn dishing out $69,299 and Makki spending $87,111.
The pair’s total fundraising, however, is not so close. Lynn bested Makki in 2021, collecting a total of $826,849 since entering the race. Makki, on the other hand, has so far raised $541,230.
Republican Audrey Henson spent similarly to Lynn in Q4, reporting only $69,908 in expenditures. Henson reported raising $100,011 during the last quarter, bringing her total to $306,346 since entering the race.
State Rep. Michele Rayner was the lowest Democratic fundraiser in Q4, collecting $89,254 during those final three months of 2021. She spent a similar number in the same timeframe, spending $80,077. Overall, she has raised $332,986.
The race’s Democratic candidates started the year with strong cash on hand advantages. Lynn, a former national security adviser in the Barack Obama administration, leads all candidates in cash on hand, starting the new year with $802,546 in available spending money.
Diamond follows, with $685,603 cash on hand going into January, and Rayner with $160,273.
Makki had the most cash on hand at the end of the year with $437,019. She’s followed by Luna, who started the new year with $315,963 in available spending money, and Henson, with $229,625.
A fourth Republican candidate, Christine Quinn, has raised $19,749 since entering the race in November. She has spent most of her earnings — $17,949 — leaving her with $2,756 going into 2022. Quinn previously ran against Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor in 2020, losing to the incumbent 60% to 40%.
Former prosecutor Kevin Hayslett announced in January that he would be running for CD 13, becoming the fifth Republican in the race. However, his financial reports will not be available until the end of Q1 later this year.
The CD 13 race is expected to be one of the most competitive in the state. It will likely be among the most expensive as donors nationwide contribute. Democrats hope to keep the seat blue, while Republicans focus on flipping a key swing district as the party battles to reclaim a majority in the U.S. House.
CD 13 is currently a fairly purple district. Heading into last year’s presidential election, Republicans — through a massive voter registration effort that will continue into the 2022 midterms — chipped away at the Democratic advantage in the Pinellas County district from 5.2 percentage points to just 4.6.
And with redistricting on the horizon, Republicans leading the process could narrow that even more by shifting district boundaries northward, though they may be reluctant to get too creative with redistricting after the Florida Supreme Court foiled their last attempts to draw a map favorable to the GOP.