As Republican Sen. Jason Brodeur faces new questions about knowledge of a “ghost candidate” scandal, Democratic challenger Joy Goff-Marcil has started to outraise him. But Brodeur still holds a massive cash advantage in a year many still expect will be rough for Democrats.
Rep. Goff-Marcil, a Maitland Democrat, reported $16,125 in new contributions to her campaign in Senate District 10 between Aug. 27 and Sept. 9. With the Florida Democratic Party largely providing all necessary campaign apparatus, she has remained frugal with spending, and closed the reporting period with $62,831 in cash on hand.
Meanwhile, Brodeur’s fundraising slowed significantly, and he collected just $3,510 over the same period of time. However, that slowdown hardly neutralizes two years of raising money for his re-election. He wrapped the period with $95,969 in his official account alone.
Meanwhile, two political committees Brodeur chairs, Citizens for Solutions and the Freedom and Fury Fund, have reported no new fundraising for weeks. Both delivered $50,000 checks to the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the arm of the Republican Party of Florida dedicated to maintaining a majority in the state Senate. Even after that, Citizens closed the last period with $270,106 in the bank, and Freedom had another $23,404 at the ready.
Goff-Marcil also controls a committee, Joy for Florida. Between Aug. 27 and Sept. 9, the committee pulled in $7,906, and barely spent $20. It wrapped the period with $70,109 cash.
This all may signal fundraising has shifted in Goff-Marcil’s favor, perhaps a byproduct of Brodeur facing fresh scrutiny following testimony from disgraced former Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg about an investigation surrounding Brodeur’s 2020 election to the Senate. A jury this month found Seminole County GOP Chair Ben Paris guilty for his role in recruiting no-party candidate Jestine Ionatti into that race. Brodeur won the election by just 5,787 votes.
Greenberg told prosecutors Brodeur “absolutely” knew about the scheme, though he has faced no charges. That prompted Goff-Marcil and other Democrats this month to demand Brodeur resign. He’s raised very little since.
A political committee for Rep. Colleen Burton, a Republican running in another Central Florida Senate district, gave $1,000 to Brodeur. A committee controlled by Rep. Clay Yarborough, a Panhandle Republican also seeking a promotion to the Senate, also gave one grand in support.
Donations for Goff-Marcil stepped up. NBA Coach-turned-commentator Stan Van Gundy and his wife, Kim, each gave $1,000 to her campaign. So did Ruth’s List, a political organization dedicated to electing Democratic women who support abortion rights.
But both campaigns seem to be relying primarily on party support right now.
The Florida Democratic Party provided $6,778 in staff support to Goff-Marcil, much of that the day she held an event calling on Brodeur to drop out of the race.
Meanwhile, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee provided $89,473 in polling and staff support just over the two-week reporting period. That’s an amount almost equal to the financial support provided to the committee by Brodeur’s political committees.
Goff-Marcil, meanwhile, has spent nearly five times as much as Brodeur when it comes to actual campaign expenses. Brodeur spent $2,088, primarily in postage. Goff-Marcil pumped out $9,749 for various consultants, most notably $3,222 for digital services with Evergreen Strategies and $3,000 for financial consulting from Spotlight Strategies.