Florida GOP flexes fundraising muscles in third quarter

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The Republican Party of Florida raised nearly $5.1 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, far outstripping the Florida Democratic Party, which raised only $1.44 million, or about one-third the GOP, according to the state Division of Elections.

In addition to the party flexing its fundraising muscle, three Republican Florida Cabinet members — Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater — raised a combined $1.2 million in the third quarter, reports Jim Saunders in the News Service of Florida.

Hearty fundraising is nothing new to the state GOP, which has held the governorship since 1998, but those numbers only reinforce the conclusion that the party will be a powerhouse in an election year where House, Senate and Cabinet seats are all up for grabs, with the governor at the top of the ticket.

Although he has not opened an official campaign account, Gov. Rick Scott amassed $4.4 million during the quarter through his “let’s Get to Work” committee, for a total of $13 million this year.

Not only is the money flowing to the state Republican Party, Saunders writes, but also to some races in open or highly competitive districts.

One example is Pinellas County, which leaned Democratic in the last two presidential contests, where Republican Chris Latvala had a strong performance with $90,105 for his House District 67 race to replace term-limited Rep. Ed Hooper. 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.