Miami Rep. Frank Artiles brought in another massive fundraising haul during the May reporting period, raising $92,801 last month through his campaign account and another $42,000 through an associated political committee called “Veterans for Conservative Principles.”
That brings his overall fundraising total to some $341,000 for his Senate District 40 account, according to recently released state campaign finance data. His war chest now contains around $272,000 in cash on hand in his campaign account and an additional $73,000 through his political committee.
The Republican lawmaker is forgoing another term in his House District 118 seat to challenge Democrat Sen. Dwight Bullard in the redrawn SD 40 seat, which contains parts of Miami-Dade County.
Bullard’s May reporting figures were not available as of Friday, but he raised $72,023 through May 1. Only around $22,000 of that remained unspent.
Besides Artiles’ tough challenge, however, Bullard faces another obstacle in 2016 — a primary challenge from recent GOP convert Ana Rivas Logan, who joined the race June 1.
Democratic insiders say Rivas Logan stands a better chance to defeat the well-funded Artiles, since they say the redrawn SD 40 favors Hispanic candidates more than African-American Democrats like Bullard.
Rivas Logan is not required to to file a campaign finance report until July 10. In the meantime, she will certainly try to stem the tide of institutional money currently flowing to Artiles.
Artiles’ stout fundraising report comes the same day as his campaign announced he has officially qualified for the 2016 ballot.
“I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of encouragement and support from my community,” Artiles said in a statement marking the occasion. “From the beginning of my campaign, I have stood for a platform that encourages lowering taxes that hurt American families and stifle small business growth, investing in education for Florida’s future generations, and protecting our seniors and families. This support proves our message is resonating in our South Florida community, and I look forward to continuing to meet with voters on the campaign trail.”