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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Scott had a big February fundraising haul after all



At a glance, it’s clear Democrat Charlie Crist’s political committee outraised Gov. Rick Scott’s last month by $827,350 to $184,257.

But the political committees don’t tell the whole story. The candidates’ campaign committees and the parties are a major factor.

And Scott is still winning that race. Here are the campaign-account breakdowns that were just posted:

Crist raised: $291,877.38
Scott raised: $585,318.00

Scott COH: $1,198,879.08
Crist cash on hand: $1,424,200.34

And then there’s the matter of the parties. A top Republican Party of Florida source tells us Scott raised $975,000 for the party last month. That’s all gravy. The Florida Democratic Party, which has no majority in the Legislature and no statewide elected seats based in Tallahassee, can’t come close to that right now.

Why Scott’s increased focus on raising money for the party and the campaign vs. the political committee? Because it saves money.

The candidate’s committee and the party get the lowest ad and mail rates. That can save an elections effort millions, perhaps as much as half. And Scott wants to spend $100 million. Crist wants $50 million.

Of course, not all is rosy in Scott World, especially when it comes to polls, as yesterday’s column noted. But the column also pointed out that it’s still early and Scott intends to start advertising statewide soon.

Expect the poll numbers to change. But also expect that Scott’s fundraising, at least for the next few months during the lawmaking session, won’t slack off in aggregate.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:47am]


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