Phil Ehr claims $500K in first-week fundraising in challenge to Rick Scott
Phil Ehr changes his mind.

phil ehr
The Democratic Senate candidate had a strong 1st week of fundraising, but there's a long way to go.

A Democrat looking to challenge Rick Scott’s re-election next year continues to trumpet strong grassroots fundraising.

Phil Ehr, a Navy veteran whose last run for office was a 30-point loss to U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz in 2020, has brought in more than half a million dollars in his first week as a Senate candidate. That money, notes his campaign, has come from all 67 Florida counties and more than 10,000 individual donors.

“The massive show of grassroots support our campaign has seen in the last week is the surest sign yet that Floridians are ready to show Rick Scott the door and replace him with someone who will restore honor to the seat and finally represent the interests of the middle class,” Ehr said.

Despite Florida’s pronounced red tint of late, which includes control of all state level elected offices, a supermajority share in the Legislature, and both U.S. Senate seats, Ehr insists his campaign is viable.

Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott want people to think that Florida is a lost cause for Democrats — but we know that’s bull, and this campaign is going to prove to the rest of the country that our state is fed up with fascism and ready to elect real leaders again.”

Scott has not commented specifically on Ehr’s campaign, but he has mocked Democrats seemingly struggling to find a candidate who would take him on before.

“I’ve had one Primary then three very hard Generals because I’ve gone through all the incumbents in office in the state, statewide Democrats,” Scott said. “So I think that they’re struggling to find somebody.”

Scott was first elected as Florida Governor in 2010, narrowly defeating former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. He was re-elected in 2014, defeating former Florida Governor and his predecessor, Charlie Crist, also by a narrow margin. Most recently, Scott defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2018 to earn his current position in what was a nail-biter race that ultimately required a recount.

Despite those struggles, Scott said in the same interview last month he anticipates another serious challenge will emerge.

“It’s going to be my first cycle in the presidential cycle. So there’ll be a lot of money because Florida is a big swing state.”

Scott has previously expressed qualms about running down ballot in a Presidential Election, calling it a “minus” that would make him “subject to whatever our presidential candidates are doing.”

“I’m very optimistic because we’re going to do our job and we (won) really tough races before. But look, it’s going to be expensive,” Scott said.

Despite Ehr’s strong start, the Senator has the cash advantage, with more than $2.9 million on hand in his campaign account.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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