WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott has already put $14 million of his own money into his U.S. Senate campaign, his first FEC report revealed on Thursday.
Scott's ability to self-fund was crucial to his two successful gubernatorial campaigns — a combined $90 million — and today's filing indicates he will again tap his fortune in a bid to defeat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. He has already unleashed a wave of TV ads.
Last week, Scott's campaign emphasized the $10.7 million raised from other people, noting that amount "does not include any candidate contributions." That money includes $3.1 million Scott raised in a joint committee with the NRSC, so the campaign actually took in $7.3 million.
All told, Rick Scott for Florida raised $21 million. As of the filing time, the campaign had $4.5 million cash on hand.
Nelson reported nearly $4.4 million raised for the second quarter and has $13.7 million cash on hand.
Among Scott contributors is John Schnatter, the man behind the Papa John's pizza empire who has become a controversial figure and was just forced from the company over reports of using a racial slur. He resigned but is now fighting the move.
Schnatter gave $5,400, but the Scott campaign said it donated that amount last week to Shriners Hospitals for Children.