Rahm Emanuel to host fundraiser for Kendrick Meek and Meek releases first TV ad

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will hold a fundraiser for Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), who’s running for the Democratic nomination in Florida’s Senate race.

The event will take place Monday, Aug. 2, in Washington D.C., according to the Orlando Sentinel

The administration officially supports Meek in his primary against billionaire Jeff Greene, but there’s been grumbling that the White House hasn’t done all it can to help the congressman.

Part of the problem could be Gov. Charlie Crist, who’s running as an independent candidate and giving Republican Marco Rubio a tougher race than either Democratic candidate is, according to polls. Crist hasn’t said which party he’ll caucus with if he wins, and both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have appeared in photos with Crist when they were in Florida to assess damage from the fallout of the oil spill in the Gulf.

But the party has helped Meek.

Biden and former President Clinton have hosted fundraisers for the four-term lawmaker, and reports indicate Clinton will return to Florida to campaign for Meek before the Aug. 24 primary.

Greene has spent a little more than $5.5 million of his own money on the race, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports. Meek has raised a little more than $7 million and has about $4 million cash on hand, according to second quarter FEC reports.

And that money has helped Greene make inroads. A St. Petersburg Times poll in May showed Meek leading Greene by 24 points. A Public Policy Polling survey taken last week showed Meek leading Greene by three points.

Meanwhile, Meek has released his first television ad against Greene and it goes negative. The ad criticizes the Greene for "becoming a billionaire on Wall Street while middle-class families lose their homes" and it also points out Greene moved to Florida two years ago. 

Greene has been on the air in Florida since May. Here's Meek's ad, entitled "Meet the real Jeff Greene":


-- This post was updated at 3:53 p.m.


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