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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alan Grayson raises $800K in first quarter, loans another $200K to U.S. Senate campaign

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando


U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando



Democrat Alan Grayson reports having had his most successful fundraising period to date since entering the race for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat last July.

But with a crowded slate of candidates, the latest fundraising numbers for the Orlando congressman continue to fall short of his competitors.

Grayson announced this afternoon that he'd raised about $800,000 during the first three months of 2016, of which $700,000 came from online contributions.

His campaign emphasized continuing grassroots support from small-dollar donors -- noting that Grayson has gotten more than 81,000 individual contributions since entering the race and that his first-quarter haul "arrived largely from average online donations of about $16."

“This is what real democracy looks like, when thousands of average citizens give what small amount they can to help elect a true progressive, someone who’s proven he gets things done,” Grayson political director Mario Piscatella said in a statement.

But there are signs that Grayson continues to burn through money.

Grayson, who has historically helped self-fund his political endeavors, reported giving his campaign a $200,000 loan last quarter. That's on top of two $100,000 loans Grayson gave his campaign during the latter half of 2015 and a $50,000 loan he gave about two weeks before officially diving into the Senate race.

His campaign also reported entering April with about $400,000 in cash on hand, about double what he had in the bank going in to 2016 but a modest amount compared to his competitors.

By contrast, his Democratic opponent in the August primary -- fellow U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter -- announced this morning he'd raised $2 million during the first three months of 2016. Murphy also reported having $5.6 million in cash on hand, about 14 times more than Grayson says he has.

Among Republicans, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, said last week that he'd raked in $1.1 million between January and March and had $3.2 million in cash on hand.

The other four Republican candidates have yet to release numbers. They are: U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Indian Shores, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami, Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox and Sarasota home-builder Carlos Beruff.

Democrat Pam Keith, a North Palm Beach attorney, also hasn't announced her figures. Her fundraising in previous quarters has been nominal.

First-quarter campaign finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15.

[Last modified: Monday, April 11, 2016 5:25pm]


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