Pam Bondi the new GOP frontrunner for attorney general?
UPDATE: Holly Benson reports raising $235,000 in the first 60 days of her candidacy. "
We haven't seen Holly Benson's report yet, but Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp reported raising $182,000 in the final three months of 2009, slightly more than he raised in the quarter before that. Tampa prosecutor Pam Bondi reported said in a release she raised more than $200,000 during the 30 days she was a candidate.
Two initial thoughts: 1. Jeff Kottkamp is in trouble, a sitting Lt governor who can't raise real money. 2. Pam Bondi is off to a big start. Even if Benson has the biggest haul, one could argue that Bondi is the new frontrunner when you combine strong money-raising with her superior geographic base. Among the names on her contribution report: Chuck Cobb, former Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland; Ed Easton, Chairman of The Easton Group; Al Hoffman, former Republican National Committee Finance Chairman and Ambassador to Portugal; Mary Jane Martinez, former First Lady of Florida; J. Patrick Michaels, Chairman and CEO of Communications Equity Associates; Mel Sembler, former Republican National Committee Finance Chairman and former Ambassador to Italy and Australia; George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees.
"For any doubters, this early fundraising number is proof-positive that Pam Bondi is for real and will have the resources to mount a serious statewide campaign," said Kathleen Shanahan, CEO of WRS Compass and former Chief of Staff to Governor Jeb Bush. "Pam's refreshing policy-based ideas, her 18 years of experience as a prosecutor, and her commitment to conservative principles will continue to attract the support necessary to be Florida's next Attorney General."