George Soros, Jane Fonda, Norman Lear help Dem Andrew Gillum governor bid

Hedge fund billionaire George Soros and his son gave a combined $150,000 to a committee supporting Democrat Andrew Gillum for governor. (Soros photo by Kevin Wolf/AP)

With significant help from some of the biggest names in American liberalism, Tallahasee Mayor Andrew Gillum raised $765,000 in his first month as a Democratic candidate for governor, his campaign says.

 

Gillum announced  his candidacy last month. His Gillum for Governor committee raised $243,000 and his Forward Florida political committee raised $522,000, a Gillum spokesman said.

 

Billionaire George Soros gave $100,000 last week to Gillum’s Forward Florida committee and son Alex Soros chipped in another $50,000. TV producer and People For The American Way founder Norman Lear gave $50,000 to the committee and actress Jane Fonda contributed $7,000, according to a report filed by Forward Florida.

 

Gillum’s campaign says it also has grass roots support, including more than 3,500 online contributions averaging about $60 and donors from 56 of Florida’s 67 counties.

 

The other Democrat who has opened a campaign, Orlando-area businessman Chris King,  has raised more than $500,000 from contributors and added $1 million of his own money, according to his campaign. King’s fundraising figure includes $181,000 raised by his campaign itself and $325,000 raised by his Rise and Lead, Florida, a committee set up last month.

 

Gillum and King are among several Democrats who could run in 2018, when Republican Gov. Rick Scott faces term limits (and is expected to run for the seat of Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson).

 

Neither Gillum nor King is well-known statewide, so raising early money is crucial to build recognition across America’s third-largest state.

 

 

 

 

 

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