Val Demings steps up fundraising as Marco Rubio continues slower pace
Celebrations are in the works; one will be happier than the other.

Demings Rubio
Demings spent a small fortune in July, $7.5M, while Rubio dropped just $1.5M.

Heading into August, Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Rep. Val Demings has accelerated her campaign fundraising, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign is showing continued signs of a slower pace in the money chase.

Demings’ campaign reported raising $4.7 million in the 34-day period since the second quarter report.

That pushed her campaign’s total raised toward the General Election in November to more than $46 million by Aug. 3.

Rubio and Demings had been neck-and-neck in fundraising through the first quarter of this year. But Rubio’s campaign posted a lax second quarter report. That was followed by a soft mid-summer effort, raising $1.9 million in the period between July 1 and Aug. 3, according to the pre-Primary reports posted by the Federal Election Commission.

The latest report pushes his campaign’s total raised toward the General Election to just $38 million.

Then again, Demings spent a fortune in July — $7.5 million — mostly on a barrage of statewide television ads. That rate is going to require continued robust fundraising through the fall, as she held just $8.8 million in the bank on Aug. 3

Rubio, meanwhile, has yet to turn on the spending full force. His campaign also has launched statewide TV commercials, though not nearly as extensively as Demings. His campaign spent $1.5 million in July and he was holding $15 million on Aug. 3.

The pre-Primary reports are required even though Rubio is not in a Primary Election and Demings faces only nominal opposition in the Democratic Primary Election.

Demings has been outpacing Rubio in fundraising ever since she entered the contest in early 2021. Through March, though, Rubio’s early start had provided a campaign money cushion that held up through the first quarter of this year. On April 1, both campaigns had raised about $31 million, with Rubio just slightly ahead. In April, May and June, the Demings campaign overtook Rubio’s when it added another $12 million in fresh contributions, while Rubio’s campaign pocketed just $4.3 million in new money.

The pre-Primary report shows the trends continuing.

If the latest reports’ receipts, covering one month, were projected out over a full quarter, it would amount to a $12.7 million quarterly pace for Demings, and a $5.2 million quarterly pace for Rubio.

Democrats jumped at the news.

“Not only is Marco Rubio failing to show up for his job in the Senate, he’s failing to show up on the campaign trail. After getting out-raised every quarter for over a year, Rubio’s campaign is still struggling. It’s clear that Floridians are fed up with Marco Rubio’s record of caving to special interests and refusing to do his job,” Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Grant Fox said in a statement.

In the pre-Primary report, Demings’ campaign reported it picked up $2.3 million in individual contributions large enough to require them to be itemized by name, and another $2.5 million in individual donations small enough that the donors could remain anonymous.

She also collected $45,500 from political action committees. That included $10,000 from the IMPACT, the leadership PAC of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York; and $5,000 apiece from the Transportation Workers Union, Stand Up for Workers, Follow the North Star, AFSCME, AmeriPAC, and the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League.

Rubio drew $1.2 million in itemized donations and $640,000 in small donations.

He received $92,000 in PAC money including $10,000 from Full House PAC, and $5,000 apiece from NexStar Broadcasting Group, No Labels Problem Solvers, Alzheimer’s Impact, Steer PAC, Bringing America Together, National Multi Housing Council, and several others.

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].


  • Kenneth Howes

    August 16, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Has anyone noticed the inconsistency? Rubio’s being out-raised? How is it said that he’s the one in the pocket of the special interests–the ones that put money into elections, the ones candidates, in order to get contributions, seek to please? The fund-raising edge suggests that it is Demings, not Rubio, being propped up with special interest money.

  • Gail Kamm

    August 17, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Demings has to operate on $$$ alone because she is not considered in the well-liked category. This is why much of her $$ goes to ad campaigns; you won’t see her in person anywhere very often. She has operated this way since she ran for Congress several years ago. Rubio is everywhere all the time, in person, and prudent with usage of campaign funds. The one with the most money does not always win the race.

Comments are closed.


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