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The Money Race: Scott and Crist spending neck-and-neck

Published Oct. 13, 2014

As polls show Charlie Crist building a slight lead in the gubernatorial race, his campaign is burning through more cash than ever.

During the latest round of campaign reporting, for the period between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3, Crist's campaign spent nearly twice as much as it raised, $3.4 million to $1.9 million.

His Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott, spent $3.4 million as well, but managed to raise $2.4 million.

That allowed Scott to pad his edge in available cash over Crist: $8.1 million to $6 million.

Crist's big expenses included $2 million to the Florida Democratic Party, nearly $1 million to the Washington D.C. ad firm GMMB, Inc., and $38,416 for a fundraiser at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

The majority of Scott's expenses was $3 million paid to the Republican Party of Florida, as well as $43,750 to the pollster Tony Fabrizio, whose firm has been paid $420,650 so far.

Once again, Chris Christie and the Republican Governor's Association showed Scott much love, contributing $1 million. The week before, it kicked in $2.5 million, and overall it has contributed $14.5 million, or more than a quarter of the $55 million Scott has raised for reelection. Other big donors included $15,000 from Pfizer, Inc. in Memphis, TN., and $15,000 from Florida Hospital Healthcare System.

Boosting Crist's efforts were $50,000 contributions from the labor union United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Pipefitting Industry, the Coconut Grove personal injury attorney Robert Rubenstein, whose TV commericials are ubiquitous in South Florida, Marsha Laufer, a Lantana retiree who is a major Democratic contributor, and Francoise Haasch, a Palm Harbor personal injury attorney.

Overall, Crist has raised $35 million in cash and in-kind contributions, while spending $25 million. Scott has raised a total of $55 million and spent $42.7 million.