DGA drops $500k on Crist
The donation is the largest contribution to Cristâs political committee, Charlie Crist for Florida. And itâs one of the largest given this campaign cycle.
âItâs just one more realization that Charlie is going to be the nominee,â Bob Poe, Cristâs fundraiser, told The Miami Herald. âThis is probably the first installment from the DGA. And itâs not only their blessing of Charlie. But itâs the recognition that this is real. Charlie has proven himself time and again.â
Crist is ahead in the polls, but he trails Gov. Rick Scott in fundraising.
Still, Crist has raised a noteworthy sum -- $10.9 million for his campaign and political committee â since November.
Poe acknowledges the campaign will still be outspent by Scott, who wants to burn about $100 million. Crist hopes to have half that.
âAnyone who doesnât think weâll have what we need is wrong,â Poe said. âWe wonât have what they have, but weâll have what we need.â
The DGAâs rival, the Republican Governorâs Association, dropped a single $2.5 million contribution on Scott in January. Scott is also receiving and spending big, considering it's just April. He has burned about $5.4 million on ads and just announced an earlier-than-ever Spanish-language TV ad as part of a new Hispanic-outreach push.
Crist still has a primary opponent, former Weston state Sen. Nan Rich, but she has struggled to fundraise and catch fire the way Crist has, even though he was once a Republican and then an independent.
Rich wants Crist to debate. Crist has firmly said âno.â
The day after the check was cut, Crist proved he also had grassroots appeal when his campaign opened its first Broward County field office, on Saturday in Plantation, and drew an enthusiastic crowd of about 300.
The $500,000 wonât be burned on ads as much as a field program to help staff regional offices, recruit volunteers and gin up excitement.
Though far smaller than Barack Obamaâs Florida campaign, Cristâs effort reflects the presidentâs re-elect and its staff. Cristâs top advisor, Jim Messina, was Obamaâs 2012 campaign manager and Cristâs campaign manager, Omar Khan, was Obamaâs national associate political director in 2012 and was deputy political director in Florida in 2008.
As Crist wrapped up his Saturday speech during the field office opening, Khan was on hand to make sure that the candidate encouraged spectators to become volunteers or stay in touch with the campaign.
âEverybody sign up. We need your emails,â Crist said.
âAnybody with a clipboard,â Khan said to Crist.
âAnybody with a clipboard,â Crist dutifully repeated into the microphone. âEverybody sign up. This is really important. Something I learned as a Democrat.â