PAC money fueling Darren Soto’s re-election bid

GOP challenger Scotty Moore attracts more individual donors' money.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto relied largely on political action committee donations in recent months as he prepares for a General Election contest.

Soto, seeking a fourth term representing Florida’s 9th Congressional District in Orange and Osceola counties, reported raising less campaign cash from individual donors in the second quarter of 2022 than did a Republican opponent, Scotty Moore.

Moore is in a four-way Republican Primary Election on Aug. 23 with Jose Castillo, Adianis Morales and Sergio Ortiz.

Soto, who does not have a Primary Election opponent, reported raising $179,942 in the second quarter. Yet $132,855 of that came from PACs, while only $47,175 came from individual donors. That continues the trend for his campaign during the 2022 election cycle.

Moore, meanwhile, reported raising $81,275 during the quarter. All but $2,000 of that came from individual donors.

Soto entered July with $743,953 in his campaign’s bank account.

Moore entered July with $187,089, while Castillo reported $12,349 cash in hand, and Morales $4,992. No second quarter report has been posted for Ortiz by the Federal Election committee. Ortiz’s campaign ended the first quarter with $7,014 in the bank.

In the second quarter, Soto drew tens of thousands of PAC dollars from various health care interests. He also drew well from the PACs representing unions, telecommunications businesses, tech companies, and home improvement stores. He also received $5,000 from American Crystal Sugar Co., a noteworthy contribution considering Soto’s hardline rhetoric supporting environmental protection of the Everglades.

Soto’s campaign now has raised $888,689 for the 2022 election cycle. His campaign mostly has limited spending to campaign operations so far, with a little spending on digital messaging.

Soto received $553,475 from PACs and $335,213 from individuals in April, May and June.

Moore, whose candidacy was fully restored last week after a flap over whether he’d presented the appropriate ballot qualification forms, now has raised $347,369.

In the second quarter Moore’s campaign did some limited spending on digital advertising and yard signs. It also spent nearly as much on legal fees, successfully defending his right to run after the Division of Elections disqualified him.

CD 9 covers all of Osceola County and a larger swath of southern Orange County than it has in previous elections. Results of the past couple of General Elections suggest the electorate has a moderate Democratic lean.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]

One comment

  • Just a comment

    July 24, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    Yes the American robot matrix wants more robots to feed the machine

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