Dem candidate in Florida special raises over $1M

Democrat Alex Sink is the $1 million woman so far in her special election bid for Florida’s competitive 13th District. 

Sink's campaign announced Thursday she has raised $1.14 million, leaving her with $1 million cash on hand for the special election to replace deceased Rep. Bill Young (R). That support stems from approximately 8,000 donations from more than 6,000 donors; more than 70 percent of those donations were $25 or less.

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Sink said in a campaign release she was “incredibly grateful for the outpouring of grassroots support.”

“This is another sign that our message of bringing Republicans and Democrats together to break the gridlock in Washington and get Congress focused on solving problems is resonating with Pinellas residents,” she added.

The state's 2010 gubernatorial nominee and former CFO, Sink was heavily recruited by Washington Democrats to join the race after Young’s passing boosted Democrats’ chances of picking up the seat in the upcoming March election. 

Shortly after her entrance into the race, the only announced Democrat — attorney and 2012 nominee Jessica Ehrlich — withdrew. That gave Sink a clear path to the nomination, and the opportunity to coalesce Democratic support and donors behind her, but the GOP remains divided. Republicans are facing an already contentious primary between former Young staffer and lobbyist David Jolly and state Rep. Kathleen Peters.

That contest has caused a public and messy rift within the Young family, with the congressman’s widow, Beverly, backing Jolly, while his son is supporting Peters.

Their FEC filings reveal Jolly significantly outraised Peters' during that same period, bringing in about $388,000 to Peters' approximately $170,000. Jolly loaned his own campaign $50,000, while Peters loaned hers $10,000.

Jolly now has about $142,000 cash on hand, while Peters has just $17,500 cash on hand heading into the final weeks of the primary fight.

Peters has been racking up support from Republican members, including Florida Rep. Martha Roby, whose leadership political action committee, donated $1,000 to Peters' campaign. Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner has endorsed the candidate, and hosted a fundraiser along with a handful of other GOP female lawmakers from states across the U.S.

Jolly, for his part, received a $2,000 contribution from Young's campaign committee and a $2,600 contribution from Beverly Young.

The two Republicans will face off in a Jan. 14 primary. The general is scheduled for early March. 

--This piece was updated to reflect the Republicans' fundraising totals.

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