Meek, Crist to report more than $3 million raised

The race for retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's (R-Fla.) seat is about to get pricey, as two candidates will report having raised more than $3 million in just the first few months of the contest.

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D) will report having raised just over $3 million when second-quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports are due next week. The Democrat raised $1.2 million in the second quarter, according to a spokesman.

ADVERTISEMENT
Meanwhile, Meek's most likely opponent, Gov. Charlie Crist (R), is throwing his weight around the Sunshine State as well. In the six weeks since announcing his candidacy, Crist has pulled in his own $3 million haul, according to a report last week in The Orlando Sentinel.

Before the two can start spending their hoards against each other, both men will likely have to spend some of that money in the primary.

Crist is facing a challenge from former state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R), an upstart conservative who has earned surprising support from his party's right flank. Polls show Crist easily leading Rubio, but Rubio has the attention of some fiscal conservatives angry at Crist for backing President Obama's stimulus package.

Meek, who owns a Miami base, could face Rep. Corrine Brown, a nine-term Jacksonville Democrat who has suggested she may run for the seat as well.

A recent poll, taken for Tallahassee-based Ron Sachs Communications, showed Crist leading by a wide margin in the general election. Crist earned 48 percent of the vote to Meek's 26, while he bested Brown 55 percent to 24. In both cases, Crist earned more than a quarter of the Democratic vote.

Crist had a 49 percent favorable rating, while 21 percent viewed him unfavorably. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent of Florida voters said they did not recognize either Meek or Brown.

The poll, conducted June 24-26 by independent pollster Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, surveyed 625 Florida voters for a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.