Jen McDonald enters final stretch of campaign with $183K in cash-on-hand

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McDonald faces Republican nominee Karen Gonzalez Pittman for the Tampa seat.

Democratic candidate Jen McDonald will continue through the final stretch of her General Election campaign with $183,000 cash on hand as she competes with Republican opponent Karen Gonzalez Pittman for the House District 65 seat.

McDonald, who did not face a Primary challenger, started the General Election cycle with a strong cash-on-hand advantage, although she has continued to keep her purse strings tight. McDonald’s funding comes between her campaign account and affiliated political committee, Bright Future Tampa Bay.

Pittman, meanwhile, entered the cycle with only $12,493 in cash-on-hand after a competitive Primary. After several weeks of fundraising and spending, she now has about $49,241 in her pocket, including $10,000 in self-funding.

In the latest fundraising period, which spanned from Sept. 24-Oct. 7, Pittman collected $16,520 from 22 contributors. Pittman’s campaign saw 15 $1,000 contributions from organizations like RaceTrac Inc., True Conservatives PC, Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Florida Medical Association PAC.

Pittman also received $11,475 worth of in-kind contributions from the Republican Party of Florida, which provided funding for campaign staff.

Pittman didn’t hold back this period, dishing out $43,625 less than one month out of the election — $40,250 went to SimWins for advertising services, $2,101 went back to Pittman for compensation and the remainder was divided among smaller campaign fees.

As for McDonald, the Democratic nominee’s political committee collected $8,600 in the same time frame from seven contributors, including $3,000 from the local plumbers and pipe-fitters union, $2,500 from the Florida Police Chiefs Association and $1,500 from Blue Sky Communities.

Her committee spent $35,497 this past finance period, which includes a $35,000 donation back to the Florida Democratic Party.

McDonald’s campaign raised $10,582 last period from over 40 donors, including eight $1,000 donations from the local plumbers and pipe-fitters union, Real Property, Probate & Trust Law PAC and FCCI Insurance Group.

She also received $30,951 worth of in-kind contributions from the Florida Democratic Party, which provided payroll coverage and polling services.

Cross’ campaign only spent $4,691, split between accounting services, consulting services and smaller media items.

Pittman narrowly ousted challenger Jake Hoffman for the Republican nomination in the August Primary, collecting 44% of the vote to his 43%. Now, she’s working overtime to catch up to McDonald’s fundraising as the two go head-to-head in the Democratic leaning district.

The cash-on-hand disparity comes despite Pittman being the highest total fundraiser. Since she entered the race, she’s amassed $285,522, as well as $10,000 in self-funding. McDonald, on the other hand, has collected $274,768 between her campaign and committee since entering the race back in March.

As for donors, both McDonald and Pittman have picked up support from members of their respective parties.

The candidates are racing to take the competitive Hillsborough County seat, which closely resembles the current House District 60 represented by Tampa Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo, who unsuccessfully ran for Florida’s 15th Congressional District. Toledo has endorsed Pittman as her preferred successor.

The newly drawn HD 65 seat, which covers southern Hillsborough County, has a slight Democratic lean. In 2020, 51.28% of the district went to President Joe Biden, while only 47.19% went to former President Donald Trump.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


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