Congressional Democrats plan big spending in north Florida, Orlando, Tampa Bay

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National Democrats are targeting several incumbent Florida members of Congress with some of their biggest spending of the election cycle.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to spend $32 million on broadcast TV ads between now and Election Day, and several of the 36 target districts are in Florida. The list, published Tuesday by Politico and sourced to the DCCC, said the committee will spend $2.5 million on ads in the Orlando TV market, behind only the Philadelphia and Minneapolis markets in how much it will shell out.

It’s not clear which races, exactly, the committee will be targeting with that money, though former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings’ effort to unseat Rep. Daniel Webster may be in its sites. The Orlando area also will be home to a race involving former Congressman Alan Grayson’s attempt to return, but Grayson likely will be among the top Democratic fundraisers himself. The DCCC also plans to spend just under $2.5 million in the Tampa market. Possible races there include the 16th Districts where Democrat Keith Fitzgerald is challenging U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, and the 13th  District where Democrat Jessica Ehrlich is being touted as having a chance to oust 21-term Republican incumbent Rep. Bill Young.

Another eye-catching amount considering the size of the markets is the $828,000 the DCCC plans to spend in Panama City and Tallahassee trying to oust freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland. Several Democrats are challenging him. The party will also put $656,000 into the West Palm Beach market where Democrats are hoping Patrick Murphy can unseat Rep. Allen West.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to 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.