Republican contender seeking to challenge Lois Frankel adds $300K to campaign
Image via Andrew Gutmann.

Andrew Gutmann 01
Andrew Gutmann must still get through a 3-person Republican Primary.

Andrew Gutmann’s first congressional campaign report shows he’s added more than $300,000 in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, outpacing the six-term Congresswoman’s donations for the same period by $73,000.

That’s despite the fact that Frankel had a 25-day head start on Gutmann, a self-described “anti-woke education activist” who filed to run for the seat representing Florida’s 22nd Congressional District on April 25. He wasn’t officially a candidate until two weeks into the second quarter, for which fundraising reports were due last week.

A news release Gutmann sent out highlighting his haul argues his message is resonating. Campaign reports also show he also loaned his campaign $110,000.

“Voters in the district are excited to have a candidate who can take on Lois Frankel and the Democratic Party, who have repeatedly proven they have lost touch with the values of everyday Americans,” Gutmann said, according to the news release.

“The enthusiasm from all over the country has been incredible as people endorse our message of getting far-left racial and gender ideology out of schools, championing opportunities for small businesses, protecting girls’ sports and spaces, and strengthening our military.”

But the recent West Palm Beach transplant from New York City will have to get through a three-person Primary to meet Frankel. And, in the money race, Gutmann still has a long climb before the $288,000 his campaign reported on hand matches Frankel’s cash. She has $945,371 ready to defend her seat.

Gutmann, once a Federal Reserve analyst, later an investment banker-turned-entrepreneur, became something of a minor celebrity among the “anti-woke” conservative movement in April 2021. That’s when several news outlets reported on a scathing letter he sent hundreds of fellow parents at The Brearley School in New York City in which he explained why he was unenrolling his daughter.

The letter hit on issues that Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans have targeted in recent years, including “obsession with race” and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Florida’s 22nd Congressional District includes former President Donald Trump’s Florida home in a county where Republicans won surprising victories in 2022. And apparently, he’s attracting interest. Gutmann’s donor list shows 38 people from New York City to San Diego donated the maximum $3,300 allowed for individuals.

Executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and financiers are well-represented among his donors. Some donors came from publications as well. Will Fitzhugh of Sudbury, Massachusetts, editor of The Concord Review, the only journal publishing high school students’ research papers, gave him $500. Robert Poole of Plantation, a policy researcher for the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, gave him $500.

Frankel, meanwhile, added $228,708 between April 1 and June 30. That’s an increase of about $22,000 from the prior quarter.

In the most recent period, 118 individual donations came through ActBlue, a fundraising conduit left-leaning politicians often use, and 37 came through American Israel Public Affairs PAC.

Notable donors who hit the maximum donation this quarter include: Alvin Perlmutter, a former NBC News vice president; Alfonso Fanjul, a West Palm Beach executive with Florida Crystals; Robert Steinbaum, an associate dean at Rutgers Law School; and Fort Lauderdale lobbyist Judith Stern.

Other notable names on Frankel’s donor list include Matthew Adler, a Miami real estate capital entrepreneur, who gave $1,000; Broward County Commissioner Mark Bogen of Coral Springs, who gave $2,000; and Broward County Commissioner Tim Ryan of Fort Lauderdale, who gave $500.

Frankel also received support from her Democratic congressional colleagues’ PACs including those belonging to House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, which gave $2,000; Rep. Annie Kuster, which gave $1,000; former Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, which gave $2,000; and former Rep. Nita Lowey, which gave $2,000.

The largest checks Frankel collected during this quarter were for $5,000 and they came from Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation, based out of Lima, Ohio; Washington-based American Federal of Teachers; Washington-based AMERIPAC: The Fund for A Greater America; Washington-based Carpenters’ Legislative Improvement Committee; Washington-based DRIVE (Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education); and the Teamsters union PAC.

Gutmann’s filing shows he spent $14,000 in operating expenditures. The biggest share, nearly $5,000, went to fees from an online fundraising platform, Anedot. That was followed by $4,000 to Tallahassee-based Front Line Strategies, for strategy consulting, and $3,000 to ASK Communications in Boca Raton.

Frankel’s spending came in at $58,872, with the biggest share of it — $18,000 — going to Lawlor Strategies, a Washington-based fundraising consulting service.

Two other Republicans are in the race. Dan Franzese added $177,000 to his campaign, including $125,000 he loaned it, and spent $104,355, leaving him $86,055 in cash-on-hand.

Deborah Adeimy raised no money and spent $30. She reported $496 in cash-on-hand.

The campaigns faced a deadline last week to report all fundraising and spending activities for the second quarter of the year.

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Jesse Scheckner of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].



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