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Gwen Graham posts another $500K+ fundraising quarter

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Three times in a row, Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Graham has raked in more than a half-million dollars from contributors, her campaign announced Monday morning.

Her team patted her on the back, calling her $1.2 million cash-on-hand number “an impressive war chest for a race more than a year away.”

The release refers to her first re-election, but which race she eventually runs remains to be seen.

Graham’s 2nd Congressional District, covering north Florida from Bonifay to Perry, could be redrawn by the Florida courts as it resolves a court challenge that the current district boundaries were gerrymandered to favor incumbents and Republican contenders.

The state Supreme Court already has ordered that U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown‘s current 5th Congressional District, which covers an area from Jacksonville to Sanford, be redrawn east-west. That could cut into Graham’s Democratic voter base, which radiates around Tallahassee, her hometown.

On the other hand, a recent poll showed the first-term Democrat losing to any “Republican challenger” in the next election for a redrawn version of Florida’s 2nd Congressional District by 49 percent-40 percent, with 11 percent undecided. Also, if the U.S. Senate election were held today, Graham would take 40 percent of the voters in her district, compared to Democratic U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson at 9 percent each, with 42 percent undecided. The current officeholder, Republican Marco Rubio, is running for president and not seeking re-election to the Senate.

Graham, elected in 2014, hasn’t publicly discussed her political aspirations, saying she’s focused on representing her Panhandle and Big Bend constituents.

“It’s humbling to have so many people across North Florida — Democrats, Republicans and independents — rallying to support our campaign,” Graham said in a statement.

“Our continued fundraising success is evidence of more than just a strong campaign,” she added. “It shows people really believe The North Florida Way is working,” referring to her campaign tagline.

Further, the campaign said it received “11,000 online contributions with an average donation of $19.44, showing an active and expanding grassroots base is continuing to support Graham’s positive message.”

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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