Big divide between GOP, Dems in July fundraising for Florida governor

Top row: Republicans Adam Putnam, Richard Corcoran and Jack Latvala. Bottom row: Democrats Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham and Chris King.

It’s tough to attract political contributions in the summer of an odd-numbered year. But preliminary political committee figures for July suggest Republicans with an eye on Florida’s 2018 governor’s race are doing a significantly better job of it than Democrats.

Three PACs associated with declared or potential Republican candidates for governor raised more than $200,000 apiece in July, the incomplete figures show, while PACs associated with the three announced Democratic candidates had raised only a combined $55,000 between July 1 and July 20.

The committees aren’t required to submit final July figures to the Florida Division of Elections until next week. But separate from the reports to the state, the PACs are required to log contributions within five days of receiving them. So activity through last week is available online.

While it’s possible a late surge in contributions will alter the numbers, it appears all the major committees fell short of their previous fundraising paces in July. But there was a dramatic difference in Republican and Democratic giving.

• Republican Adam Putnam‘s Florida Grown political committee, which began July with about $10 million in cash on hand, reported $210,960 in contributions between July 1 and July 25. The committee has been averaging more than $1.1 million a month in contributions during the first six months of 2017.

• The Florida Leadership Committee, which is affiliated with state Sen. and potential governor candidate Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, raised more than $235,000 between July 1 and July 27. The committee has been averaging more than $300,000 a month in 2017 and began July with more than $3.6 million in the bank.

• Watchdog PAC, which is affiliated with House Speaker  and potential GOP candidate Richard Corcoran, reported $208,500 in contributions between July 1 and July 26. The PAC debuted with more than $2 million contributions in June.

• Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum‘s Forward Florida committee , which began the month with nearly $300,000 in the bank, has reported only a $10,000 contribution on July 14.

• Former Democatic U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham‘s Our Florida committee , which has been averaging nearly $400,000 a month in contributions since its February launch, has reported three July contributions totaling $45,000.

• Businessman Chris King‘s Rise And Lead Florida committee has not reported any July contributions as of this morning. The committee averaged more than $170,000 a month in contributions during its first four months.

• Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and Democratic Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine are also pondering runs for governor, but committees linked to them are not required to report contributions within five days.

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