Democrats Outpaced in Money Chase Against Pam Bondi

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: February 18, 2014 3:55 AM
Perry Thurston, Pam Bondi, George Sheldon

Perry Thurston, Pam Bondi, George Sheldon

Outside of Rick Scott, the only conceivable statewide target Democrats have in their sights for November is Pam Bondi, but so far her challengers have yet to impress with their fundraising prowess.

With less than nine months to go until the general election, neither George Sheldon, who entered the race in October, or Perry Thurston, who got in on Nov. 1, have come close to matching Bondi’s fundraising pace.

Between July 2013, when she filed her paperwork, and the end of January, Bondi has impressed with her fundraising, bringing in almost $736,400, relying on more than $473,500 through in-kind donations and spending less than $40,000.  In addition to Bondi’s campaign fundraising, two committees affiliated with the attorney general have reported raising collective totals of $1,426,832.00. The committees, established in July of last year, include And Justice for All, an Electioneering Communications Organization (ECO), and Justice for All, a Political Committee (PC). When included with her current campaign finance report, her fundraising totals to date come to $2.1 million.

With no Republican primary opponents, Bondi can also expect to rely heavilly on the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), the GOP leadership and their allies.

Despite some high-profile losses in the constitutional challenge to Obamacare and trying to keep the medical marijuana amendment off the November ballot, Bondi is in solid shape with her base. She also leads in the polls though she fails to crack 50 percent against either Thurston or Sheldon, giving Democrats some signs of hope for November.

But Democrats have picked their target in Florida and it’s Rick Scott, not Bondi. Unlike her Cabinet colleagues Jeff Atwater and Adam Putnam, Bondi should expect to face a serious opponent come November, but Democrats aren’t exactly putting their money on either Sheldon or Thurston quite yet.

Making his third bid for state office, Sheldon was running on fumes at the end of January. Since getting in the race, he has raised more than $78,500 but he’s burned through most of it, going through almost $72,200. January epitomized Sheldon’s problems. He brought in almost $20,200 last month but also spent almost $37,500 in the same period.

Thurston hasn’t been as active on the fundraising trail but at least he hasn’t blown his cash early like Sheldon has. Since getting in, Thurston has raised almost $38,500 and spent around $6,850.

No wonder Mike Morgan, who works for his father John’s Morgan & Morgan law firm, has left the door open to running for the Democratic nomination. Bondi had almost $700,000 in the bank at the end of January -- a massive advantage over Thurston with less than $32,000 and Sheldon’s pathetic $6,300. The only other candidate in the race is Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer, who had around $1,500 on hand at the end of January.

Bondi is nowhere near the lock for another term that Atwater or Putnam are but she is a strong favorite over her current opponents. Democrats might think they have a chance of knocking Bondi off in November but they aren’t placing their bets on either Sheldon or Thurston quite yet.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (9)

William Wohlsifer
10:02AM FEB 19TH 2014
Is this article about platforms, positions, 2014 issues or money? It's about money and lots of it. What it does not reveal is that Pam Bondi had already raised $624,688 just in campaign financing alone by Sept. 30, 2013, before any of the other three candidates were even in the race. This news article states what Pam Bondi failed to accomplish, followed by a statement that despite these failures she enjoys solid support from her Republican base. This is true honest reporting, as we have come to expect from Sunshine State News. (I mean this and am not being sarcastic.) Very odd; immense financial support not based on accomplishments in office or goals, but on mere party affiliation. I was once that kind of Republican voter, too. But the days of party loyalty are rapidly folding. Voters recognize that there is too much at stake now to go along to get along. I implore you to look at the candidates, not at their campaign $$$ accounts. Neither Democratic contender nor I will catch up with Pam Bondi's war chest. That simply shows that the Republican AG candidate has big money behind her. It also means you can expect more annoying TV commercials from her camp rather than from her opponents'. Don't allow your vote to be persuaded by the purse. Do your own independent research to learn more about each candidate. My website is full of comprehensive issue statements based on fact, law, and principles. My record is based on real world activity, not politicking. This year, for the first time in Florida’s history, the voters will have a Libertarian AG candidate on the ballot. Learn more about your third-party candidate and support my campaign for Attorney General. Bill Wohlsifer, Florida's First Libertarian Candidate for Attorney General. LET'S MAKE HISTORY!
2:19PM FEB 18TH 2014
Hard to compete with corruption
12:37PM FEB 18TH 2014
Thanks Pam for the GREAT JOB you have done for the citizens of Florida!
11:44AM FEB 18TH 2014
I can't believe I'm about to write this but, even Howdy Doody (Bill McCallum) might be better! Oh, I cannot believe I wrote that.
11:41AM FEB 18TH 2014
Pam Bondi absolutely MUST go! She has turned her back to Florida taxpayers too many times to reward her with another election victory. And I'm a registered Republican who voted for her but certainly NEVER again.
9:44AM FEB 18TH 2014
We have given her our votes at every election she ran in. This November she can count on losing these votes. For the People she is not.
9:27AM FEB 18TH 2014
Pam Bondi would serve the citizens of the state of Florida better by catching a poll dancing gig at Tootsies or Scarlett's where style exceeds substance.
9:24AM FEB 18TH 2014
Bam Bondi has been the worst Attorney General the State of Florida has seen. It's time to give her the pink slip.
8:28AM FEB 18TH 2014
As Ms Bondi stated in an appearance at the University of Florida Graham Center, she is un motivated, undeserving, and has always had things handed to her without earning them. it is time to give her something she more than deserves, being voted out of office.

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