Gillum begins governor race with big money advantage over DeSantis

Democrat Andrew Gillum (left) has an early money edge over Republican Ron DeSantis in the Florida governor’s race.

Andrew Gillum was outspent by his four main rivals in the Florida Democratic primary for governor, but a flurry of post-primary contributions have given Gillum an early money advantage over Republican nominee Ron DeSantis.

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Tallahassee Mayor Gillum an affiliated political committee raised more than $4 million in the three days after Gillum’s stunning Aug. 28 primary victory, according to reports filed Friday with the Florida Division of Elections. U.S. Rep. DeSantis, meanwhile, raised only $521,880 in the same period.

Gillum began September with more than $4.2 million in cash on hand for the governor’s race while DeSantis had $1.5 million.

Gillum spent about $6.7 million on his primary campaign while his rivals combined to spend nearly $100 million. Gillum did, however, benefit late in the campaign from spending by outside groups, including a $3.5 million effort by People For the American Way and other liberal groups.

From Aug. 29 to Aug. 31, Gillum’s campaign raised $1.7 million and his Forward Florida committee collected $2.3 million. The committee got $1 million from the Democratic Governors Association and $1 million from hedge fund manager Donald Sussman.

During the same period, the DeSantis campaign raised $275,880 and an affiliated committee raised $246,000. The committee’s biggest receipt was $100,000 from a PAC associated with the Florida Chamber of Commerce.