Sen. Janet Cruz continues to lead the fundraising game in her bid for re-election, but she’s trailing her Republican challenger in Senate District 14, Jay Collins, in cash-on-hand.
Cruz’s Building the Bay political committee has raised more than $1.6 million since winning the seat in 2019 by defeating then-incumbent Republican Sen. Dana Young.
That includes more than $139,000 from Oct. 8-14 to her PC. But she retains just about $47,000 in the account after doling out $248,000 during the reporting period, almost all to the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which is helping fund office rent and consulting services for Cruz’s campaign.
Including in-kind contributions, Cruz’s committee took in 11 contributions, including $50,000 from the Florida Education Association, $25,000 from the statewide Florida for Everyone political committee, and $10,000 each from the Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Littky-Rubin law firm, the Rossman Baumberger Reboso & Spier law firm and the Edwards & Ragatz law firm.
She also took in a $7,500 contribution from Tallahassee-based U.S. Claims Opco.
Meanwhile, her campaign has just $39,000 on hand after raising just under $32,000 from Sept. 24 through Oct. 7, bringing her total cycle campaign take to more than $380,000. She brought in $21,000 worth of in-kind contributions from the Florida Democratic Party, for staff payroll and benefits.
Contributions came from 148 donors.
Of her latest cash haul, Cruz spent just under $20,000, including $8,100 on palm cards from Virginia-based Deliver Strategies, $4,300 on social media strategy with Tallahassee-based Evergreen Strategies, and more than $1,000 on signs from Tampa-based Good Guy Signs.
Collins, meanwhile, retains about $240,000 in his political committee, Quiet Professionals FL, which has raised $388,000 since it launched in June. That includes $1,000 raised in the first week of October from Miami Beach retiree David Flory.
The PC spent just under $14K the first week in October, nearly all to Gov. Ron DeSantis alum Makenzi Mahler’s MHM Consulting.
Collins’ campaign has about $117,000 on hand from the $243,000 raised since launching in June, with three weeks until Election Day. That includes $17,544 raised from Sept. 24 through October 7.
He also benefited from nearly $131,000 in in-kind contributions from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is funding campaign staff, research and polling.
Collins’ campaign spent nearly $53,000 during the most recent reporting period, including about $45,000 to Mentzer Media Services for advertising and media.
SD 14 is a blue-leaning seat but a competitive one. About 51.25% of voters under the new SD 14 lines favored Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election, while 47.33% voted for Republican Donald Trump.
Voter registration mirrors the slight Democratic advantage with 122,751 registered Democrats, 114,588 registered Republicans and 103, 528 non-partisan voters, according to the most recent L2 voter data.