THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, July 18, 2012
Michael Peltier, The News Service of Florida
Conservative Republican firebrand and radio talk-show staple Allen West led all Florida congressional candidates in fund-raising during the year's second quarter by at least a three-to-one margin, according to federal election records.
West's $2.3 million for the quarter ending June 30 continued the contribution juggernaut that has allowed the one-term incumbent to amass nearly $10 million so far in his first re-election campaign. His second quarter tally was more than all but two other candidates have raised during the 2012 election cycle.
West faces Democrat Patrick Murphy, whose $507,198 in contributions for the period was good enough to place him fifth overall for the quarter. Murphy, whose campaign has been targeted as a possible swing seat, has so far raised $2.3 million.
West, a retired U.S. Army officer, far outdistanced his nearest fundraising rival, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She raised $639,510 for the quarter, according to Federal Elections Commission reports.
Other top finishers in the quarterly campaign derby included Democrat Alan Grayson ($605,247), Republican Adam Hasner ($558,936) and Republican incumbent John Mica ($400,291.)
Rounding out the top 10 were Democrat Keith Fitzgerald ($381,215), Democrat Lois Frankel ($359,887), Republican incumbent Steve Southerland ($356,884) and Republican incumbent Vern Buchanan ($333,937.)
Combined, Florida's congressional candidates raised nearly $12 million for the quarter, bringing the election cycle total so far to more than $48 million for those candidates who are still, at least theoretically, in the race.
At least 12 candidates have raised more than $1 million toward their respective 2012 election bids, with another 14 hopefuls over the $500,000 threshold.
As of June 30, congressional campaigns had a collective total of more than $30 million cash in hand as they head into the heat of the campaign season. From here on out the reporting periods shrink. The next congressional reports, which cover July 1 to July 25, are due Aug. 2. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 14.