Despite flap over execution delay, Bondi raises big money in AG race
For all the flak her campaign took when Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi asked to delay an execution because it conflicted with a fundraiser, it turns out she doesn’t need the money that badly.
Bondi’s re-election campaign announced Thursday it had raised $624,594 in its first three months. It’s the biggest opening quarter for an AG candidate since Charlie Crist raised $744,438 in 2001. (One caveat: Bondi is the first incumbent since Bob Butterworth in 1998 to seek reelection, so her contributions partially reflect the power of incumbency that the other candidates don't have.)
What's more, as SaintPetersBlog helpfully points out, Bondi is also associated with an Electioneering Communications Organization called "And Justice For All" -- not to be confused with the 1979 film starring Al Pacino. The ECO's website says its mission is "to promote justice in Florida by identifying and communicating about public officials and candidates who have track records of supporting justice in our state." And, oh yeah, Bondi is associated with the ECO. It reports having raised more than $800,000, including $500,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee-Florida PAC.
When she ran for the first time as Attorney General in 2010, Bondi raised a total of $1.84 million. She raised $198,755 in her first month as an announced candidate in 2009. She then raised $222,779 in her first entire quarter in 2010.
The amount announced Thursday covers three months, from July 1 to Sept. 30. Bondi filed to run for re-election on July 1.
“We appreciate all of the hard work from so many supporters that made this happen,” her campaign manager, Pablo Diaz, said in an e-mail. “(We) look forward to continuing to build Pam’s network of support in the months ahead.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater had raised $195,125 through June after he filed to run for reelection in 2011. (His contributions since July haven’t been reported yet). In 2010, he raised $4 million. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has had no problem flexing his campaign fundraising muscles. Since filing to run for reelection in April, Putnam has raised $800,105. He raised a total of $3.1 million in 2010. (Putnam also has an ECO, Sunshine State Leadership Project, which reports raising another $191,000). Unlike with Bondi, however, there was never a Pacino movie named "Sunshine State Leadership Project."
While Putnam and Atwater have drawn Democratic opponents, Bondi still has no competition. No word from state Democrats on when that will change.