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Florida statewide candidates got nearly $13 million in taxpayer matching funds

The amount of matching funds distributed is significantly higher than in 2018.
Florida candidates drew $12.96 million in campaign matching funds from the state this election cycle.
Florida candidates drew $12.96 million in campaign matching funds from the state this election cycle. [ MARK LENNIHAN | AP ]
Published Nov. 17

With more than $650,000 distributed last week, the state doled out a record $12.96 million in matching funds to this year’s statewide candidates, a 31.5% increase over the 2018 election cycle.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was reelected Nov. 8, received a total of $7.27 million in matching funds, including $306,945 last week.

Under the program, matches are provided for contributions of $250 or less from individuals to statewide candidates’ campaign accounts.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist received $320,315 last week to bring his overall matching-funds total to $3.87 million.

Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, who was reelected Nov. 8, pulled in $3,947 last week to bring his total to $221,050.

Former state Rep. Adam Hattersley, a Democrat who lost to Patronis, received a total of $186,369, with $14,285 last week.

In her successful reelection campaign, Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody picked up $6,500 last week, bringing her matching-funds total to $291,333.

Her Democratic challenger, Aramis Ayala, didn’t participate in the program.

Newly elected Republican Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and his Democratic challenger, Naomi Blemur, did not draw money from the program.

Outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who lost a Democratic gubernatorial primary, and Daniel Uhlfelder, who lost a Democratic primary for attorney general, also received matching funds.

Candidates drew $9.85 million in matching funds in 2018, $4.3 million in 2014 and $6.06 million in 2010.

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