Laurel Lee has now raised more than $1M for CD 15 run

laurel lee
She chipped another $100,000 in loans, along with $360,000+ in contributions for the quarter.

Republican Laurel Lee has now raised more than $1 million in her bid for Congress. She wrapped the third quarter of 2022 with more than $360,000 in cash on hand, compared to Democratic opponent Alan Cohn’s $220,000.

That leaves her with a cash edge in the open race for Florida’s 15th Congressional District, Florida’s most closely divided House seat by voter registration.

She reached seven figures after she pulled in another $378,786 in the third quarter. She added another $100,000 in loans, on top of $65,000 in prior debt, to bring total dollars for the quarter to $498,681 and her total over the course of the campaign to $1,162,139.

Meanwhile, Cohn had announced passing the $400,000 mark previously, and his filing with the Federal Election Commission shows $304,442 over the course of the quarter. He has raised $489,083 in total.

Lee’s success came with a little help from friends. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan held a fundraiser in Longboat Key for the National Republican Congressional Committee and four candidates in Florida swing districts, including Lee.

Both won competitive primaries in August that required substantial spending. Lee proved to be the most successful fundraiser in a race with five competitive Republicans, and spent much of it leading into the Aug. 23 vote.

The bottom line is that Lee looks toward the final month of the campaign with more in the bank. Lee closed the quarter with $361,049 in cash on hand. That’s more than $120,000 more than $220,615 in the bank for Cohn.

Cohn’s campaign, though, said the money shows Lee is controlled by corporate interests.

“Laurel Lee’s big corporate money donors are more proof that she’s running for Congress to represent special interest groups like private prisons and Florida Power and Light’s parent company, as well as the many extremist Republicans in Congress who gave her money,” said Cohn spokesperson Phil Swibinski.

“Everyday people have made their choice clear and Alan Cohn is the candidate they support for Congress. Cohn out raised Lee among individuals by nearly $75,000 and in contributions totaling $200 or less Cohn out raised Lee nearly 10 to 1. That’s because Floridians can see that Alan Cohn will stand up for their rights while Laurel Lee embraces an extreme agenda that will criminalize abortion, lock up doctors in jail and put the government in charge of women’s health care decisions.”

Lee also outspent Cohn during the quarter. She disbursed $348,395 over the three-month reporting period, while Cohn pumped $215,025 into the contest.

She has also rallied law enforcement leaders, including landing endorsements from all three Republican sheriffs for counties in CD 15.

Republican Donald Trump won a majority of votes in the district, 50.86%, in the 2020 Presidential Election, while Democrat Joe Biden won 47.74%. The district is near split in voter registration under its new boundaries with a little more than 164,000 Republicans and just over 170,000 Democrats, according to the most recent L2 voter data. There are nearly 143,000 non-partisan voters.

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].

One comment

  • Lex Taylor

    October 18, 2022 at 3:27 pm

    Laurel Lee was a judge. She is going to be fair and listen to everyone in her district. If you want to know why she is fund raising so well, all you have to do is remember that she held statewide office and now has connections all over the state. Not to mention that Democrats have put the country in an inflation spiral.

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