Florida House Candidate Posts Another Big Fundraising Quarter

Graham, Democrat, is challenging Southerland, above. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Gwen Graham, a Democrat, raised $563,000 in the second quarter, adding to her war chest as she gears up for a competitive race in Florida's 2nd District, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

Graham's haul brings her total cash on hand to $1.57 million in her race against GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II. At the end of the first quarter in March, Graham reported $1.4 million in the bank.  

Southerland has yet to release his second-quarter numbers, which cover the period between April 1 and June 30. They are due to the Federal Election Commission on July 15. Southerland ended March with $1.18 million in the bank — a cash-on-hand disadvantage compared to Graham.  

Democrats tout Graham, the daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., as a top recruit in this district, located in the Florida panhandle. House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority — a tall order in this midterm cycle.  

Graham has already begun advertising in the district ahead of an eight-day "Grilling with the Grahams" tour, where she will travel around the district with her father.  

Democrats are targeting the 2nd District as a pick-up  opportunity in November. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won here in 2012 by a 6-point margin.  

Both the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee reserved television advertising here in the fall. The NRCC reserved $900,000 , while the DCCC reserved $785,000 .  

Florida's 2nd District is rated a Leans Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.