State Rep. Ben Diamond has raised more than $1.2 million as he races for Florida’s 13th Congressional District, his campaign announced Monday.
The sum includes more than $240,000 raised in the first quarter of 2022, his campaign said. The latest haul keeps Diamond on top as the leading Democratic fundraiser in the race for CD 13. A majority of contributions came from Pinellas County donors contributing $100 or less, according to his campaign.
“Rep. Diamond’s consistent fundraising momentum is evidence of the growing excitement about his candidacy. Voters from all across this community support his commitment to lowering costs, combating the climate crisis, and defending our fundamental freedoms,” Diamond’s campaign manager Jena Kingery said in a statement. “The people of Pinellas County are sending a message, loud and clear — Ben Diamond is the best candidate to deliver for Florida’s 13th Congressional District in Congress, just as he has done for six years as a member of the Florida House. They will not be swayed by the millions of dollars spent on television ads by an out-of-state hedge fund billionaire attempting to buy this primary election.”
The CD 13 race will be closely watched in the 2022 midterms. Candidates are racing to replace outgoing Democratic U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist as he runs for Governor. However, the competitiveness of the district ultimately will depend on the new congressional map approved by the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ current proposal changes the makeup of the district from a Biden +4 seat to an almost Trump +7 district.
Diamond faces fellow state Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby and Eric Lynn, a former national security adviser under President Barack Obama, in the Democratic Primary for CD 13.
The Democratic nominee will go on to face the winner of the crowded Republican Primary. The GOP field includes former prosecutor Kevin Hayslett, nonprofit founder Audrey Henson, Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna, Republican strategist Amanda Makki and Christine Quinn. Makki lost the Republican Primary to Luna in 2020.
As far as fundraising, Luna closed out 2021 leading both sides of the field with just over a million dollars raised. Diamond ended 2021 just under a million, but announced in January he’d hit seven figures.