Three Democratic contenders for Florida governor reported their July fundraising totals Monday, with a great disparity separating Andrew Gillum from former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and Orlando businessman Chris King in the gubernatorial money chase.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s campaign team reported a total of $60,000 raised last month, with the majority of the total -- $50,000 -- going to Gillum’s campaign account while Gillum’s political committee, Forward Florida, raised $10,000.
The $10,000 raised by Forward Florida came from one donor: homemaker Lu-Shawn Thompson of Brooklyn, New York.
It was an evidently slow month for Gillum’s campaign team, but Gillum’s communications director Geoff Burgan didn’t seem troubled by the numbers.
“Our campaign continues to be excited about the grassroots energy Mayor Gillum is feeling out on the campaign trail,” Burgan said. “We’re in this race to give a voice to regular Floridians who want a state they can be proud of again, and we’re talking about the issues that matter: protecting and expanding healthcare access, fighting for an economy that works for everyone, reinvesting in public education and confronting our climate change crisis.”
Burgan said he was “confident” Gillum’s campaign team was raising the resources it needed to “communicate with voters” throughout the state.
Gillum’s campaign has struggled in recent months after a series of staff changeups and controversies which continue to plague the Tallahassee mayor.
Three of Gillum’s top staffers -- Brice Barnes, Brad Kennedy and Philip Thompson -- left his campaign last month, leaving Gillum without a deputy campaign manager, deputy finance director and campaign manager.
An ongoing scandal involving the use of his city email for political purposes continues to haunt Gillum on top of a federal investigation into projects subsidized by the Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency.
While Gillum seemingly struggled to gain momentum during July, other Democratic gubernatorial candidates didn’t have quite as much trouble raising money for their campaign war chests.
Graham announced Monday she had raised more than $350,000 during the month of July, bringing her total campaign contributions to more than $3 million since she announced her run for governor in May.
Graham raised over $220,000 in her campaign account and more than $130,000 through her political committee, Our Florida.
According to a press release, more than 6,700 unique donors have chipped in to Graham’s campaign since May.
Graham took shots at President Donald Trump and Florida Republicans Monday, saying GOP policies are failing Floridians, who Graham says are desperately seeking new leadership.
"This summer has shown why electing a Democratic Governor is vital to our state's future,” she said. “While Donald Trump wages a war against our health care, threatens our citrus industry, and moves forward with drilling off our beaches, Rick Scott and Adam Putnam refuse to stand up to the president and put Florida first. Instead, Adam Putnam has turned to copying the president by attacking the free press. It's a desperate attempt to appeal to the extreme right and it won't work. One Donald Trump in our state — even just part time — is more than enough."
King also outpaced Gillum significantly last month. He reported more than $154,000 in campaign contributions last month, according to FloridaPolitics.com.
King’s July totals bring his overall fundraising number to $2.4 million, a hefty sum of money for King, who has never run for office.
“We’re excited that people are consistently and powerfully responding to Chris’s fresh ideas to build an economy that will produce better days ahead for Florida,” said King’s Finance Director Stephanie McClung.