Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell raised more than $1.5 million in the five weeks after launching her U.S. Senate bid.
Financial toplines shared with Florida Politics show the Miami Democrat closed the third quarter with $1.1 million in cash on hand. That makes her the first challenger to Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott to announce a seven-figure haul.
“This campaign is fueled by grassroots support and I’m so grateful and humbled by what we’ve accomplished together in just five weeks,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “I feel the energy across the state and know Floridians are ready for change.”
Mucarsel-Powell in August announced she would challenge Scott’s re-election effort in 2024.
Republicans in Florida posted a strong showing statewide in 2022, including a 17-percentage-point victory for Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.
Scott’s team dismissed the total as underwhelming, and even a sign of weakness. The Republican’s campaign comparing her total to Florida Democrats’ 2022 nominee for Senate.
“Over the first 5 weeks of her race last cycle, Val Demings raised $4.6 million,” Chris Hartline, a senior advisor for Scott, posted on X. “Another sign of how weak the Democrats’ hand-picked candidate is and how little enthusiasm there is for Democrats in Florida.”
But Mucarsel-Powell maintains Scott, who won election in 2018 by a historically narrow margin, will be vulnerable in a presidential year.
“Rick Scott has aligned himself with extremists: writing the plan to end Social Security and Medicare, pushing to raise taxes on the middle class, and working to pass a national abortion ban,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “This is not who we are in Florida, which is why I’m fighting every day to stop the extremism and create a better future for our families.”
Her campaign reported more than 33,000 donors, who gave an average of $35. Democrats categorized that as strong evidence she boasts grassroots support. She also boasts endorsements from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD PAC, EMILY’S List, Giffords PAC, and League of Conservation Voters.
She has also stressed a history of electoral success in South Florida, a critical area where Democrats likely must win back a number of voters in order to win any statewide race. Mucarsel-Powell in 2018 defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo the same year Scott picked off Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. She lost the seat two years later to now-U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, the Republican Miami-Dade County Mayor at the time.
That support will be important as Mucarsel-Powell first fights for the party nomination. She stands out as the most serious fundraiser of 12 Democrats who opened federal accounts, a list that includes former congressional candidate Phil Ehr and former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.