Debbie Wasserman Schultz passes $1M in campaign cash
Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls for more action to curb recent anti-Semitic violence. Image via AP.

debbie wasserman schultz ap photo
The Weston Democrat is seeking her 10th term in Congress.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s campaign kitty passed the $1 million threshold in the first quarter of 2022 as her fundraising showed an uptick compared to the previous quarter.

The Weston Democrat, who was a national political figure after becoming chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, raised nearly $300,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31. That’s about a 30% increase from the previous quarter’s haul.

Her chief opponent, Republican Carla Spalding, whose website shows her standing with President Donald Trump, raised only about $20,000 less than Wasserman Schultz in the first quarter. Spalding also showed more money raised in the first part of 2022 than the previous quarter. But federal election reports show Wasserman Schultz is in a far stronger cash position. Compared to the $1 million Wasserman Schultz has, Spalding has nearly $81,000 in cash on hand, federal election reports show.

Whether this year becomes a rematch between Spalding and Wasserman Schultz remains an open question, however. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ redistricting plan that became law on Friday puts Spalding’s home outside the district.

Spalding could not be reached to discuss her plans, although her voicemail message does say she’s the most electable candidate to beat Wasserman Schultz

The district’s lines have shifted slightly, but it remains a decidedly blue district with an analysis by Matt Isbell of MCI Maps showing President Joe Biden carried the district by more than 20 percentage points.

The newly configured district encompasses Weston, Dania Beach, Davie, Cooper City, Southwest Ranches and Hollywood, along with parts of Plantation, Pembroke Pines, Miramar and Hallandale Beach.

The nine-term Congresswoman, South Florida’s longest-tenured U.S. Representative behind only Republican Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, beat Spalding, a former U.S. Navy veteran and Veterans Administration nurse, by 16 percentage points in 2020. And Wasserman Schultz has secured at least 56% of the vote each of the last four cycles.

Redistricting also has renumbered the district, turning it from Florida’s 23rd to Florida’s 25th Congressional District.

The campaign reports of the two leading candidates illustrate dramatically different campaigns.

Wasserman Schultz shows a number of out-of-state contributors, but decidedly fewer than Spalding’s contributors.

Also, just under a dozen out of nearly 500 individual contributors gave $1,000 or more to Spalding’s campaign and none gave more than $3,500. Wasserman Schultz, however, had a number who gave the $5,800 maximum, along with a list of political action committees that gave thousands each.

Spalding’s biggest contribution came from Omega List Company, a McLean, Virginia company that generates direct mail lists. The company is listed as contributing $7,641 to her campaign and contributing $23,996 in “royalty income.”

Meanwhile, Wasserman Schultz’s donor list shows the sugar industry accounted for the most donations of any particular sector, with eight different PACs or associations with the word “sugar” in their names. Together, these committees and associations accounted for $15,000 in donations. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington gave her more than $8,000.

Wasserman Schultz received $5,000 checks from the American Crystal Sugar Company Political Action Committee, Deloitte PAC, the Washington-based political arm of the consulting company of the same name; the American Federation of Teachers, the Engineers Political Education Committee; and the Motorola Solutions Political Action Committee.

Wasserman Schultz spent a total of $192,752 in the first quarter with the biggest payment, $50,000, going to the Democratic National Campaign Committee. Other larger expenses in the last quarter show $15,000 went to BTS Strategies Inc. in Miami for campaign management consulting and nearly $13,000 to New Blue Interactive LLC in Washington for digital media fees.

Spalding, meanwhile, spent $338,754.

Her campaign paid RST Marketing in Forest, Virginia, $44,691 for postage and marketing services; MDI Imaging & Mail in Dulles, Virginia was paid $40,947 for mailing services; and Advanced Response Systems, based in Rogers, Minnesota was paid $28,693 for mailing services. Her campaign committee also gave $25,000 toward event sponsorship with the American Freedom Tour.

Republican Rubin Young, whose Facebook postings speak of an “America First” platform, raised $1,418 during the last quarter and spent $2,667, leaving the campaign with $56.39, according to the committee’s filings.

Three other candidates — two Republicans and one with no party affiliation — are also filed to run in the same district as Wasserman Schultz in 2022.

Republican Saad Suleman filed in March 2021, but shows no money raised or spent. Republican Melinda Almonte filed in February, so no report is due yet.

The campaigns were facing a deadline earlier this month to report all campaign finance activity for the first quarter.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • Impeach Biden

    April 30, 2022 at 7:48 am

    So many dumb people living in Sunrise Lakes, Kings Point, and Century Village. Debbie picks them up on the bus, takes them to the polling place, and these senior citizens look for two things on the ballot. One is a “D”.

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