Rick Scott’s Senate bid sets quarterly fundraising record for 2018 election cycle
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) raised $10.7 million in the second fundraising quarter, more than any other Senate candidate during a three-month period this cycle.
The eye-popping total will undoubtedly increase pressure on his opponent, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. The race is expected to break the record for the most expensive Senate campaign in history, with outside groups gearing up to spend heavily in the state and Scott poised to sink his personal wealth into the race.
However, the $10.7 million was raised exclusively by contributions, not from Scott’s personal bank account. Eighty percent of Scott’s contributions received from April through June were in-state, and just 3 percent came from political action committees, according to his campaign.
“Florida families have had enough of career politicians in Washington who care more about their own jobs than the wellbeing of the families they serve,” Scott said in a statement. “By raising more than $10.7 million in less than three months, we are sending a message to Washington that the time of career politicians is over — and our momentum is not slowing down.”
Nelson has been fundraising at a strong clip for an incumbent. He’s raised $12 million since the beginning of the cycle and had about $10.5 million on hand as of the end of March.
This is Scott’s first fundraising report since he jumped into the race in April. Candidates must file their second-quarter reports, detailing donations from April through June, by July 15.
Scott’s report is a summary of how much he has raised. The full fundraising report, which includes how much money Scott spent during that time period, isn’t public yet.
That report will likely shed light on how much Scott has sunk into the race himself, considering that by mid-June, he had already booked $11 million on television advertising, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The two-term governor’s net worth exceeds $232 million, according to a financial disclosure filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics last month. Before entering politics, Scott worked in the health-care industry.
A strong haul by Scott had been expected — he’s been the consensus GOP front-runner for the entire cycle, and he froze the field by waiting until April to announce. That meant there were scores of donors waiting for Scott to give the green light before pouring cash into his campaign.
Still, Scott’s fundraising total is more than many candidates have raised since the start of 2017.
While other Republican candidates aren’t shattering records like Scott, they are still posting formidable numbers.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s campaign announced Monday that it raised $1.3 million during the second quarter, while Rep. Jim Renacci — the Republican taking on Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in November — raised $2 million, according to multiple news reports. Those totals were more than each candidate raised from individual donors over the cycle.