Democratic candidate for Florida’s 15th Congressional District Eddie Geller raised more than $100,000 in the first quarter of 2022, according to a release from his campaign.
The Q1 haul nearly doubles the funds he raised in the fourth quarter of 2021. According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Geller raised more than $183,000 in 2021. The former stand-up comedian and political newcomer’s campaign has now raised nearly $300,000, mostly from small-dollar donors. According to his campaign, Geller’s Q1 fundraising came from 1,350 individual contributions, 83% of which were under $100. He currently has nearly $110,000 in his war chest.
“This really reflects the grassroots momentum and excitement we’ve been seeing here on the ground,” Geller said. “Voters want decency, authenticity, and bold solutions to the biggest problems of our time. They know they will get none of that from out-of-touch career politicians.”
The current CD 15 has historically been a right-leaning district, currently represented by GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin. Facing an incumbent in a red district could be cause for alarm. But redistricting might prove the remedy Geller would need to get out of that hot water.
The maps approved by the Legislature shifted Franklin into the newly drawn Florida’s 16th Congressional District and taking him out of Geller’s path.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, has vetoed those maps, leaving the Legislature to go back to the drawing board. DeSantis has largely raised issue with Florida’s 5th Congressional District in North Florida, meaning the districts around the Tampa Bay region may go unchanged.
Unless the Legislature adopts radical changes, Geller and Franklin are unlikely to be matched up. Instead, Geller appears to be running for an open seat.
If the new lines in the region remain similar to the first set approved by lawmakers, Geller’s stiffest competition so far would be state Rep. Jackie Toledo. The conservative Republican announced her candidacy for CD 15 last month and has already raised more than $350,000. But Geller’s campaign isn’t worried yet, especially with Toledo’s recent support of Florida’s 15-week abortion ban and HB 1557, which critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
“Too many campaigns these days look like they were grown in a lab in Washington,” Geller said. “This campaign is about trying to do things differently, to appeal to voters in fresh new ways. Maybe even tell some jokes.”
Geller’s different approach started with the 90s-sitcom styled video he released to announce his campaign. Geller has used humor to outline his platform, but also used the video to also get serious about his intentions.
“For too long, Florida politics has been plagued by corruption and certain politicians who care more about special interests than fighting for hard-working Florida families,” he said in the video. “Our state is undergoing a devastating resurgence of the COVID pandemic at the exact time that we should be making a soaring recovery. Florida’s 15th Congressional District deserves a representative who will listen to their needs instead of pushing their own agenda and acting on one party’s interests.”