Ron DeSantis holds a 23-to-1 cash advantage on Charlie Crist

Crist_Desantis side_by_side (6)
The Republican reports $115M in cash-on-hand to the Democrat's $5M.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to hold a dominating lead in fundraising over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist. Even as his campaign shipped millions to the Republican Party of Florida, the Republican incumbent sits ready to deploy $115 million in cash on hand.

Crist, a former Democratic Congressman and Republican Governor, has grown his war chest back to more than $5 million in available cash following a costly Primary.

DeSantis’ official re-election campaign account raised $934,942 in the first full week of September, bringing the total raised this cycle to $23,032,660. He already spent most of that, but still holds $10,015,983 in cash.

That’s almost as much as Crist raised in his official account since filing for Governor last May.

Crist has seen fundraising pick up since winning the Democratic nomination over Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. He reported $844,692 in new donations over September’s first full week, bringing his total contributions for the campaign to $10,875,395. But while DeSantis ran unopposed for the Republican nomination, Crist depleted much of his money defeating Fried, and his official account held just $2,979,122 as of Sept. 9.

The official accounts show just a fraction of the resources that the candidates control. The Friends of Ron DeSantis has also continued to amass a war chest, raising $2,465,342 in the first half of September. That includes $1,305,007 raised between Sept. 9 and 15 alone. In that one week, the committee disbursed a massive $5,421,671, most of that paid directly to the Republican Party of Florida.

The committee as of Sept. 15 holds $105,280,103 in cash, more than 46 times the $2,275,011 in cash on hand available to Friends of Charlie Crist as of the same date.

The Crist-controlled committee raised $888,182 between Sept. 1 and 15, and has been more frugal in that time. But having spent $6,722,849 through the Aug. 23 Democratic Primary, the committee remains in recovery mode.

Crist has seen some substantial support come in from out of state since securing the nomination, including $100,000 from the American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees and another $100,000 from the California Democratic Party during the month of September.

But DeSantis has seen big checks as well. The Conservatives for Principled Leadership committee, Chaired by Florida House Speaker-Designate Paul Renner, gave $90,000 to the Governor’s committee. McCormick Drive LLC, managed by Ronald Wanek of St. Petersburg, gave $250,000. But the Governor also has developed a national network of small donors as he increasingly grows a national profile.

As for where money is going, DeSantis this month poured money into the state party. He gave $2.5 million to the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, dedicated to keeping a majority in the Florida Senate. He also gave a total of $9,868,967 to the Republican Party of Florida. That means the vast majority of the $12.5 million in spending by the Governor in the first half of September went toward efforts by the party at large, not simply his own re-election effort.

The largest expense for the Crist committee in the same time was for a poll, $28,300 that went to GBAO. The committee also notably disbursed $9,138 to the Elias Law Group, a Democratic election law firm. Most of the $77,598 in spending in early September for the Crist committee has gone toward travel and salaries.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


12 comments

  • Tjb

    September 19, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Why is DeSantis using the money of Floridians to pay for the trafficking of the undocumented? His campaign should be paying for these horrible political theater acts.

    Reply

    • It's Complicated

      September 19, 2022 at 4:00 pm

      It’s pretty simple, really. The Florida Legislature appropriated $12M in the 2022-2023 State Budget for relocation of illegal immigrants. The ‘trafficking’ allegation is nonsensical. If DeSantis is trafficking in humans, the same could be said of Joe Biden for relocating tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to ‘red’ states without notice, or the Mayor of Chicago for busing several busloads of illegal immigrants to a ‘red’ Chicago bedroom community without notice. The bottom line is the border needs to be controlled.

      Reply

      • marylou

        September 20, 2022 at 6:10 pm

        *There was NOT $12M in the Florida budget to relocate anyone FROM TEXAS!
        *Desantis misused Florida tax dollars to provide a service for Abbott.
        *If there was an immigration problem in Florida, Desantis would not have had to go 850+ miles to find someone to send to MV.
        *The people Desantis paid $12,000+ each are asylum seekers, not ‘illegal immigrants’. And, they were in TEXAS!
        *Trafficking could be something like flying a minor across state lines to force him to perform in a campaign ad taped by the videographer that Desantis sent along with the kidnapped people.
        *Desantis doesn’t have a right to control the border by using FLORIDA STATE BUDGET funds to fly people out of TEXAS–NOT FLORIDA!!!

        Reply

  • Juanita Mendoza

    September 19, 2022 at 10:09 am

    I told DeSantis men that I wouldn’t sign the paperwork to be flown to the vineyard. When I said this, I was beaten about the face, chest, neck, and head. My private parts were also groped and smacked by those pinche gringos. I signed the paperwork out of fear that I might be raped. There was already one rape.

    Reply

    • Impeach Biden

      September 19, 2022 at 11:06 am

      Sybil with yet another alias in his / her quest to smear DeSantis. To all of the bad of misfits that post under those aliases, DeSantis will be re-elected. Don’t like him, then consider Kalifornia. They need people out there to replace the thousands and companies fleeing high taxes, crime, big government. The land of Pelosi, Waters, Feinstein, and Newsom. Democrat Utopia.

      Reply

    • Tom

      September 19, 2022 at 11:12 am

      Pathetic pig, Joey corsin.
      You are scum.
      Chinese bot troll, soros msnchurian nation member.

      Reply

  • Tom

    September 19, 2022 at 11:11 am

    Crush them all America’s Gov.
    Chameleon is a loser.

    Reply

  • Avy115

    September 19, 2022 at 3:51 pm

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    Reply

  • tom palmer

    September 19, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    A financial advantage does not always mean a voter advantage.

    Reply

  • Bruce Davis

    September 19, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    The Citizen’s United Supreme Court ruling has destroyed our political system.

    Reply

  • Christopher M. Kennard

    September 20, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    There are those among us who served in the Civil Rights and Peace Movements of the 1960’s who remain committed to keep our people free, equal and able to engage in the governing of America as our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights envisioned . . . despite being written during the disgraceful slavery of human beings . . . this vision set forth in written form by enlightened and wise leaders remains the goal of the greater majority of American citizens and voters today.

    I understand the anti-Semitics and white supremacists who wish to destroy our democratic form of government of one person, one vote and regret to acknowledge that we may not be able to reach all or many of you infected with this divisive virus that seems to infect so many of you . . . but we hope your children can be saved from such an evil political movement based upon hate, fear and feelings of inferiority that rise to become the cause of your hate and bigotry toward others.

    Many of us pray for your salvation through the Love of God.

    Reply

  • tom palmer

    September 20, 2022 at 5:07 pm

    To quote Chief Marge, so this was all about a little bit of money? Nov. 8 will tell whether you can buy an election.

    Reply

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