April was kind to the candidates for Florida governor. Yes, even the Democrats.
But it was kind to the Republicans, too.
GOPers — specifically, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam — continue to have a stranglehold on the money race as we inch closer to the Aug. 28 primary. Despite having half the number of candidates, Republicans are sitting on millions more dollars than Democrats.
But the Democrats did close the fundraising gap somewhat in April. Here's what each candidate raised last month. (R.I.P. Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran's inclusion in this monthly breakdown.)
The former Miami Beach mayor posted another impressive fundraising month, raking in $2 million — the best month of any Democratic candidate in 2018. But that figure included $1.4 million in loans from the candidate himself. If Levine keeps cutting himself large checks, he may be the fundraiser to top in the Democratic field all summer. He's sitting on $3.5 million cash on hand.
Speaking of cutting oneself checks, Chris King raised $514,623 in April. About 80 percent of that ($405,000) came from his own pocket. Even with that sizable contribution, King's fundraising slipped some from March to April. King is the candidate with perhaps the least name recognition in what is already a fairly anonymous field. He'll have to spend every penny of his $2,476,895.76 cash on hand wisely if he wants to have a shot come August.
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The former congresswoman had an impressive seven-figure fundraising month in April, pulling in over $1 million. At least one of her major backers came with a side of controversy, though. Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum's campaign called out Graham for accepting $100,000 in political committee money from James Finch, a Florida developer with a history of environmental violations.
Still, Graham's well positioned going into the summer with $4.7 million cash on hand and a legion of small donors to brag about. For more on her April, read this.
The Tallahassee mayor got a major contribution from George Soros, a Democratic mega donor, in April. For more on that, read this story. Overall, Gillum had a positive month, taking in $447,711. He's got just $1.36 million cash on hand, though.
Florida's agriculture commissioner is flush with cash. If you've been following the money race for the past few months, you'll know that's not news. Putnam kept up his fundraising prowess in April, pulling in $2.11 million between his campaign and PAC combined. Putnam also aired his first television ad last month. Get ready to see a lot more of Adam Putnam on the small screen this summer.
DeSantis hadn't disclosed his April fundraising total as of Thursday morning. But his political committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis, disclosed that it raised $464,717.19 — a solid figure, but peanuts compared to Putnam. We'll update this post when DeSantis releases his April totals.