Whitney Fox hits six figures in first week of CD 13 campaign
Image via Whitney Fox for Congress.

Whitney Fox
Fox is showing early momentum in a race that will require a lot more of it.

Whitney Fox, a Democrat running for Florida’s 13th Congressional District in hopes of unseating freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, has raised more than $100,000 since announcing the campaign last week, her campaign reported. 

“I’m humbled by and grateful for the incredible outpouring of support we’ve received. Floridians are eager for a change from the chaos in Washington and enthusiastic about our campaign,” Fox said. “The choice could not be more clear: a far-right extremist who has left Florida’s families behind in pursuit of her dangerous agenda — or a community leader focused on getting things done for Florida’s families.”

The next financial reports aren’t due to the Federal Election Commission until the end of the year, so details of Fox’s fundraising aren’t publicly available. 

But hitting six figures one week into the race is a good start.

Fox announced her candidacy last week, just after she resigned from her position as Communications Director for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, where she ran communications strategy, public policy advisory and other executive functions within the transit agency. Fox was one of the main architects of the SunRunner Bus Rapid Transit line in St. Petersburg, which has outperformed ridership expectations within its first year. 

Fox also, in that role, had to work with leaders in both political parties to further transit priorities — that includes at the city, county, state and federal levels. 

“As a mother of two young girls and through my work in public transportation, I see the struggles of the affordability crisis affecting so many families across Florida,” Fox said when she announced her campaign. 

But she’ll be at a disadvantage in the district. Luna won the district, which covers much of Pinellas County, in 2022 amid a red wave in Florida after the Legislature approved new congressional maps that shifted the voter registration advantage from favoring Democrats to favoring Republicans. She ran previously in 2020, losing to then-incumbent Democrat Charlie Crist, who did not seek re-election in 2022 and instead ran for Governor.

The district, drawn to exclude parts of south Pinellas County and include northern parts of the county, now leans red with nearly 199,000 Republican voters to just 151,573 Democrats.

Cook Political Report lists the district as a competitive race, but with a distinct advantage for Republicans at R+6 and likely Republican.

And that early six-figure mark will need to grow substantially in a race that will far exceed seven figures. Luna, as of the end of September, had nearly $560,000 on hand for her re-election bid, which includes nearly $740,000 in total contributions in the third quarter. 

But Fox is off to a positive start, launching her campaign with support already secured from former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, whose political reach still bears influence, and Largo City Commissioner Jamie Robinson, who could whip voters among his fairly conservative constituency. 

Fox is looking for an opening in a district currently represented by a freshman member of Congress who has often stood with the more extreme conservatives on Capitol Hill, including Matt Gaetz.

“Right now, our government is at a standstill because of Anna Paulina Luna, who has used her position to cause chaos and confusion to raise her profile. I am proud to announce my candidacy to put an end to the disorder, grow the middle class, and protect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions,” Fox previously said.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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