Lois Frankel’s campaign cash towers, but two Republicans best her in Q1 money added

Lois Frankel
Four out of nine candidates in race for CD 22 seat raised six figures in the first quarter.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel’s first quarter fundraising hit her personal best for this election cycle — with $173,589 raised — bringing her campaign kitty to $1.6 million.

That’s more cash on hand than all eight of her Republican competitors’ have combined.

As Frankel seeks her sixth term in Congress, though, two Republican competitors added more to their campaigns in the last quarter. Republican Jeffrey “Bongi” Buongiorno added $368,997 to his campaign, with 96% coming from his own pocket. And Martin Marks of Lake Worth Beach, who just filed for the seat in January, reported raising nearly $239,000 in his first-ever campaign report.

The controlling map of congressional districts, the one that Gov. Ron DeSantis has in place, represents a slight change in the constituency of the district Frankel currently serves. But even though it includes President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach home, the reconfigured district overwhelmingly elected President Joe Biden. It was renumbered from Florida’s 21st Congressional District to the 22nd.

The district’s geography runs north to include parts of West Palm Beach and south to the Boca Raton-Delray Beach border. Bordered to the east by the ocean, it swings west to the L-40 Canal, including Boynton Beach, Greenacres and Palm Springs.

Frankel received her largest sum from a single entity, $10,000, from the Desert Caucus, based in Tucson, Arizona, which bills itself as a PAC focused on the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Two donation conduit organizations focused on American-Israel relations chipped in 55 times during the first quarter to Frankel’s campaign, sending about $47,000.

Sugar interests also showed up, giving Frankel $13,500. Based in Moorhead, Minnesota, American Crystal Sugar Company PAC gave the most among that group, donating $5,000.

Frankel received $2,000 from the campaign of U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Charles Modica of Hobe Sound, chancellor of St. George’s University, gave Frankel’s campaign the maximum $5,800 donation allowed for an individual.

Frankel’s campaign spent a total of $50,907 in the first quarter. Larger expenses included a $5,000 donation to the Palm Beach Democratic Party, $7,500 going to New Blue Interactive in Bethesda, Maryland for digital fundraising consulting, and about $3,000 going to caucus retreat expenses at the Hilton at Penn’s Landing.

Republican Buongiorno, whose online biography says he’s a businessman who came here from New Jersey, has self-funded much of the cash he has on hand, and he’s Frankel’s closest competitor in the money race. He’s put a total of $511,988 into his campaign this cycle. He ended the quarter with a total of about $417,000 on hand.

Newly minted Republican Marks is the No. 3 candidate in cash on hand. The candidate’s online biography says Marks has two master’s degrees. He also works as a writer, appearing in national publications, and as a small businessman.

Marks raised the maximum $5,800 donation from Lynda Blanchard, an Alabama candidate for Governor; John Blanchard, an Alabama venture capitalist; Reid Boren, a Palm Beach real estate investor; Nicole Callahan, a Columbia University lecturer, who lives in Miami Beach; Anastasia Coleman, a Boca Raton retiree; Taylor Collins, a West Palm Beach investor; Jerry Daniels, a Jacksonville retiree; Benjamin Griswold, a Palm Beach investor; Lamont Harris, a King of Prussia, Pennsylvania retiree; Sher Kasun, a Palm Beach retiree;  Joanna Klawsnik, a West Palm Beach retiree; Bridget Koch, a Palm Beach retiree; Bruce Rosenthal, a St. Petersburg financial advisor; Charles Saulsbury, an Odessa, Texas businessman; and Amanda Schumacher, a Palm Beach nonprofit executive. The Log Cabin Republicans represented Marks’ sole political committee donation in the first quarter, giving him $1,000.

After spending $42,689, Marks has slightly more than $197,000 cash on hand. The most significant share of those expenses, $10,000, was paid to 1892 LLC of a Gallatin, Tennessee, for strategy consulting.

Republican Rod Dorilas, a Navy veteran, also landed in six-figure territory with his first quarter fundraising. He raised $202,403, with all but $5,000 from individual donors.

He received the maximum from Charles Johnson, a Palm Beach retiree; Ann Johnson, a Palm Beach retiree; Gretchen Leach, a Palm Beach retiree; Leotta Real Estate Group in Windmere; Richard Roeder, a West Palm Beach businessman; Allison Roeder, a Nashville, Tennessee homemaker, Sharon Vander Drift, a Garland, Texas retiree; and Diana Wister, a Palm Beach retiree.

The billionaire on Dorilas’ donor list, Chuck Schwab, chairman of Charles Schwab Corp., a multinational financial services company, gave $2,900 to the campaign.

Dorilas received two PAC donations: $2,500 from Black America’s Political Action Committee, based in Washington, and $2,500 from the Republican Majority Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia.

The biggest checks out of the $113,494 that Dorilas spent in the first quarter went to Thomas Reckling of Wellington, who received $13,500 for strategy consulting, and National Public Affairs of Arlington, Virginia, paid $10,000 for strategy consulting.

Those expenses left him with $144,494 to spend.

Other contenders, further behind in the money race, are:

— Republican Dan Franzese added $1,328 to his campaign this past quarter and spent $56,233. Most of it went to various firms’ consulting services. Those expenses left him with $105,245 cash on hand.

— Republican Deborah Adeimy added $30,931 to her campaign, including $6,121 she contributed, and spent $17,968. That left her with $69,603 to spend on her campaign.

— Republican Peter Arianas added nearly $14,000 to his campaign, including a loan of nearly $9,000 he made to his campaign. He spent $18,555, leaving him with $2,493 to spend in the race.

— Republican Bill Wheelen reported adding $31,751 to his campaign in the first quarter, his first report since filing in January. That amount includes the $16,354 he gave his campaign. He spent $24,313, leaving him with $7,437 for his campaign.

— Republican Ljubo Skrbic added $5,500 in a loan he made to his campaign during the first quarter. He spent $5,636 of it and reported $36 on hand.

 

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

  • Martucci

    May 23, 2022 at 10:59 am

    another poster child for term limits. She comes out of hibernation only at election time. A real do-nothing!

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