DeSantis fundraising perks up after early Gillum money surge

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

After getting blown out by Democrat Andrew Gillum in fundraising immediately after Aug. 28 primaries, Republican Ron DeSantis edged Gillum in money collected for the Florida governor’s race during the first week of September.

And a DeSantis PAC has snagged more than $2 million since the last Florida Division of Elections reporting deadline, including a $1.5 million check from Palm Beach County resident Laura Perlmutter, the wife of Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter.

As of Sept. 8, Gillum and his Forward Florida PAC had nearly $5.2 million in cash on hand for the general election while DeSantis and his Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC had nearly $2.6 million.

Hear more about the governor’s race in the latest Inside Florida Politics podcast…

The figures for DeSantis and Gillum and their PACs do not include spending by outside groups trying to influence the race.

The Service Employees International Union, for example, recently announced plans to spend $5 million on ads, communications and get-out-the-vote efforts to support Gillum and other “candidates dedicated to lifting up the middle class.” The Republican Governors Association recently launched a statewide TV ad campaign accusing Gillum of going “just too far” with his call for a $1 billion hike in the corporate income tax and other proposals.

Gillum and his PAC raised $4 million in the three days after Gillum’s stunning Aug. 28 Democratic primary victory over four better-financed rivals. DeSantis and his PAC raised only $521,880 in the same period.

Between Sept. 1 and Sept. 7, however, DeSantis raised $1.4 million while Gillum raised $1.3 million.

DeSantis’ latest total includes $380,951 collected by his campaign and $1 million raised by his PAC. Gillum’s campaign raised $874,285 during the first week of September while his PAC snagged $445,500.

DeSantis, whose GOP primary win was largely due to President Donald Trump‘s endorsement, will turn to one of Trump’s arch rivals — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — for fundraising help next week at an event in Coral Gables.