You know Florida is in for an unusual election cycle when the Democratic candidate for governor raises more money than the Republican.
But for the second fundraising quarter in a row, Democratic Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink raised more money than Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum — $1.6 million for her, and more than $1 million for him, according to the campaigns.
"This overwhelming support from thousands of Floridians sends a clear message that it's time for a governor with a different kind of experience and a fresh approach," said Sink.
There was much better news for Republicans in the fundraising numbers reported by the state parties: more than $4 million for the Florida GOP and $2.5 million for the Democrats.
Unlike the candidates' campaigns, Florida political parties are not restricted to $500 contributions and can accept unlimited donations. The state party numbers arguably are more important because they can pay for much of a campaign's expenses, and Florida Democrats boasted the three-month fundraising period that ended Sept. 30 was the party's best third quarter in an off-election year.
McCollum would not say how much money he has on hand; Sink said she has nearly $3.6 million.
Despite the numbers, the latest fundraising reports underscore the difficulty of raising money in this economic climate. McCollum, without a serious primary opponent, has raised about $2 million to date. At this point in the 2006 cycle, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist had raised $5.6 million and Republican Tom Gallagher, $4.8 million. Democrat Alex Sink has raised more than $4 million to date; at this point four years ago, Democrat Jim Davis had raised about $1.1 million, and Rod Smith nearly $1 million.
Adam C. Smith can be reached at email@example.com.