Republican Candidates Lead Democratic Candidates in 2022 Campaign Funding

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Governor DeSantis and other Republican candidates currently lead their Democratic counterparts in campaign fundraising by what gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) said was an “ungodly” amount.

August finance reports for the state candidates and political committees that are fundraising for the 2022 elections were filed on Friday with the Florida Division of Elections (FDE).

“Florida Republicans aren’t just building a massive force and coming for our voter registration advantage … they’re also raising ungodly sums of money,” Crist said in an email sent to The News Service of Florida.

Governor DeSantis’s political committee, known as Friends of Ron DeSantis, raised almost $5.52 million in August and had approximately $53 million cash on hand by August 31st. In the eight months prior, the committee is responsible for raising $46 million, The News Service reported.

The largest contributions in the month of August come from Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein, husband and wife, who contributed a total $1 million by both making a contribution of $500,000.

The two candidates competing for the chance to challenge DeSantis as the Democratic nominee for governor, Crist and Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, have a lot of ground to make up.

Compared to DeSantis’ numbers, Crist’s campaign finance report for August shows that his political committee, Friends of Charlie Crist, raised only $700,000 as of the 31st, and had only $2.5 million in cash on hand.

Fried’s political committee known as Florida Consumers First raised less than Crist in August with only $418,000 in contributions. However, Fried’s cash on hand at the end of August totaled more than Crist’s amount, with $2.82 million.

Fried took the opportunity to continue her criticism of Desantis.

“The past few months have proved that DeSantis is the most dangerous governor in America … He’s put our children at risk by banning school mask requirements and played politics at every turn in this pandemic,” the email said.

As far as other elections in the Florida Cabinet – Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Agricultural Commissioner – Republican candidates continue the same trend.

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s committee, Friends of Ashley Moody, raised nearly $196,000 in August and had approximately $2.27 million of cash on hand. Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ committee, Treasure Florida, raised nearly $193,000, and had $2.45 million of cash on hand. Both candidates have yet to draw an opponent.

For the Agricultural Commissioner position, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson entered the race in August and was able to transfer $500,000 from a prior committee known as Jobs for Florida, to his new committee known as Friends of Wilton Simpson.

Simpson’s cash on hand – contributions made by two other committees known as Florida Green PAC and Future Florida – totals more than $2 million.

As stated by The News Service, “Democrat Ryan Morales and Republicans Richard Earl Olle Jr. and James Shaw have opened accounts for the agriculture commissioner’s race but have raised little money.”

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis. Background Photo “Money” by SCR3AMFR3AK. Background Photo “Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol” by Michael Rivera. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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