Florida Governor fundraising rundown: Putnam, Levine surge; Gillum, Latvala flail

Almost nine months from the primary, Republicans are significantly out-fundraising Democrats.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
Published Dec. 12, 2017|Updated Dec. 15, 2017

November's Florida governor fundraising numbers brought more of the same: Democrats largely struggled to raise as much as Republicans. But there were a few notable exceptions.


Adam Putnam continued to blow away the field with another strong fundraising month. The Republican frontrunner brought in about $683,000 more in monetary contributions than he spent between his campaign and political committee. The Agriculture Commissioner will have a substantial war chest — $15 million and counting — that will be tough for anyone to compete with come fall 2018.

Jack Latvala surged out of the gate with strong fundraising numbers during in his first month on the campaign trail. But recent weeks have not been so kind to the Florida Senator, as sexual harassment allegations have caused donations to dry up. Latvala's campaign and committee spent about $237,000 more than they received in November monetary contributions. With a burn rate like that — and the weight of Tallahassee on Latvala's shoulders — it's fair to wonder how much longer Latvala will last in the race.

Richard Corcoran, the speaker of the Florida House who has yet to declare his candidacy, quietly raised a net $647,000 for his political committee, Watchdog PAC — which is sitting on about $4.7 million.

Ron DeSantis, the congressman who is widely expected to take a run at governor — but has yet to officially announce — raised almost $349,000 for his political committee, which has a little over $2 million cash on hand.


Gwen Graham raised about $130,000 more than she spent between her campaign and political committee, leaving her with $2.78 million cash on hand. Even if Graham couldn't compete with deeper-pocketed rivals in November, her campaign touted Graham's large number of donors in a release.

Andrew Gillum had his worst fundraising month yet, raising $51,000 less than he spent between his campaign and a related committee. The Tallahassee mayor has around $483,000 cash on hand. Like Graham, Gillum has claimed the broad support of his 11,000 donors would lead him to victory. But as PolitiFact noted when he made a similar claim in June, Gillum has been known to confuse donors with donations— and double count in the process.

Philip Levine was the big Democratic winner in November, kicking off his official campaign fundraising with a solid  $440,000 in net campaign contributions. Add that to the $5 million cash on hand from his campaign committee, and the wealthy Levine might be able to give a Republican a run for his money in 2018.

Chris King's fundraising numbers were down from October, with the Orlando entrepreneur pulling in less than he spent between his campaign and political committee. Still, King is sitting on about $1.6 million cash on hand.

This post has been updated to accurately reflect Chris King's fundraising totals.