The Republican Party of Florida raised nearly $339,000 in the second quarter of 2017, marking one of the lowest quarterly fundraising hauls in more than two decades.
State records show the Republican Party of Florida raised $338,942 between April 1 and June 30. The fundraising period covered a portion of the 2017 Legislative Session and a three-day special session, during which state lawmakers are prohibited from raising money.
Disney Worldwide Services was one of the top donors during the three-month period, giving the state party $50,000. Walt Disney Parks & Resorts also made an in-kind contribution of food, beverage and event expenses worth $83,907 in April. Records show Florida Blue also gave $50,000 during the fundraising period.
Other top donors include Innovate Florida, the political committee backed by Sen. Bill Galvano; Jobs for Florida; and Costa Nursery Farms. All three organizations gave $25,000. Charter Communications gave the state party $20,000; while Floracann and West Flagler Associates each contributed $12,500 to the Republican Party of Florida.
The three-month fundraising period pales in comparison to previous fundraising periods by the Republican Party of Florida. The Florida GOP raised more than $4.1 million in the second quarter of 2016; one year earlier it raised more than $1.9 million in the same three-month fundraising period.
State campaign finance records dating back to 1996 show this year’s quarterly numbers are the the lowest in more than two decades. Records show the next lowest fundraising period was Nov. 1, 1996 and Dec. 31, 1996, when the party reported raising $572,531. There were three fundraising periods, state records show, where the state party reported raising no money.
POLITICO Florida reported the three-month period marked the first quarter that Rep. Jose Oliva, the incoming House Speaker, was at the helm of House Majority, which raises money for House raises.
Gov. Rick Scott and state Senate leaders no longer raise money for the state party. Scott’s political committee — Let’s Get to Work — raised $681,110 during the same three-month period, $485,100 of which was raised in April alone. The Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, raised $720,000 between April 1 and June 30.
While the Republican Party of Florida had a slower than normal fundraising period, it didn’t appear to slow its spending during the three-month period.
Records show the state party spent more than $1.05 million between April 1 and June 30. That’s slightly less than what it spent in the first quarter of 2017, when it reported spending $1.18 million between Jan. 1 and March 31.