This will be their first real race in well over a decade, as neither has had much competition since coming to Congress, Sherman in 1996 and Berman in 1982. And with the state’s new top-two primary system, the race will likely last through the June primary and into November.
GOP Rep. Allen West brings in the cash, whether it’s for his campaign or for his opponents’. The straight-talking freshman rode a wave of national support to victory last cycle, when he raised more than $6.5 million for his campaign. He’s on track to raise a lot more in his first re-election bid. In the third quarter, he raised around $2 million. Democrats are keen to note that he spent $1.4 million in a quarter, a pretty high burn rate. Still, West had an enviable $1.8 million in the bank at the end of last month.
Part of West’s support comes from his strong base of tea-party-affiliated voters. Jason Hoyt, a key Florida tea party activist based in Orlando, said it’s West’s “boldness” that makes him a refreshing political figure.
“It’s his ability to cut through the talking points, leave political correctness on the side and just say it like it is,” Hoyt said.
West’s vote for the debt-ceiling-raising Budget Control Act in August may make him slightly less palatable to the conservative grass roots. Even so, he’s expected to keep fundraising at a impressive pace.
West’s opponents have also benefited from the frankness of his views. former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel and businessman Patrick Murphy, the two Democrats battling to take on West next November, have raised lots of money vowing to fight him and his agenda.
Although Florida does not yet have new district lines, Frankel is the frontrunner to win the nod. This should be one of the top-grossing House races in the country next year.
Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth became a national political star during her failed run for Congress in 2006, when her race was a top priority for then-Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.). Emanuel has moved on to become Chicago mayor, but the money is still flowing in Duckworth’s run for the redrawn 8th district.
However, her opponent for the Democratic nomination, former state Deputy Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi, is not far behind with strong fundraising of his own.
Duckworth’s third-quarter haul was boosted by an
EMILY’s List endorsement and fundraisers and email solicitations from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and David Axelrod, a top political adviser to President Barack Obama.
And even though Krishnamoorthi was behind her in third-quarter fundraising, he still tops her with $636,000 in cash on hand.
This will be an expensive primary — one that national Democrats would increasingly like to avoid.