For years, Democrats have believed that Rep. Bill Young (R) is close to retiring in Florida’s 10th district. Growing impatient because the former Appropriations chairman continues to seek re-election, this cycle Democrats recruited state Sen. Charlie Justice (D) into the race to see if they could smoke Young out. But Justice’s early fundraising has been mediocre, and Democrats are a long way from scaring Young into retirement.
Justice filed on April 24, raised $86,000 his first quarter of fundraising and $77,000 in his second. Those are less than spectacular numbers for a star recruit. He ended September with $101,000 in the bank, but Young had four times that amount.
“He needs to put in the work to build his operation and make sure he has the money to compete,” admitted one House Democratic strategist. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), who is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s vice chairwoman for incumbent retention this cycle, has been assigned to Justice to help jump-start his campaign.