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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

What those new campaign finance reports will answer

4

October

• Is Marco Rubio a credible candidate for the Senate? After glowing pieces about him by the likes of George Will and the National Review, it will be hard to take him seriously if he raises less than the $340,000 he pulled in last quarter. Look for north of $2 million for Charlie Crist.

• Is Jeff Kottkamp sure to face a primary? If the lieutenant governor and candidate for attorney general doesn't report a big number, at least several hundred thousand dollars, he'd better gear up for a tough primary.

• Is Kendrick Meek blowing through all his money? The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate has a big staff working on getting him qualified for the ballot by signature, but he'll need every penny for an uphill race against (probably) Crist. Plus it looks like Meek will face his own primary challenge from former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre.

• Are Alex Sink and Bill McCollum still competitive? Both are expected to raise in the vicinity of $1 million, and people will be watching if either gubernatorial candidate is far ahead. This is Sink's third quarter raising money and McCollum's second, so arguably this should be an easier quarter for McCollum to outraise.

• Will state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer have some explaining to do? The state GOP took some heat for having been surpassed in fundraising by the state Democrats last quarter, and the party has pushed candidates to raise money for the party as well as their own campaigns. It's an ominous sign if the state Democratic Party raises more money again.

• Should Adam Putnam sweat? Once viewed as the all-but-inevitable agriculture commissioner (though he faces a primary challenge from state Sen. Carey Baker), the Republican U.S. representative from Bartow now has a potentially tough Democratic opponent in Scott Maddox. If the former Tallahassee mayor debuts with a strong money-raising quarter, that race could certainly start looking interesting.

(Print Buzz here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:21pm]

    

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