Democrat’s Lackluster Fundraising Draws Attention in Fla. Open Seat

Posted October 18, 2009 at 2:54pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been high on Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards (D) in the open-seat contest in Florida’s 12th district, but that support might fade away if Edwards continues with an unimpressive fundraising pace.

Edwards raised just under $39,000 in the third quarter, according to recently filed Federal Election Commission reports.

That meager fundraising total comes despite the fact that Edwards was endorsed by the conservative Blue Dog Coalition in mid-July. It also includes more than $15,000 in donations from the campaigns and political action committees of six Members, including a $2,000 check from DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) in July.

Edwards “is focused on getting her message of fiscal conservatism and job creation out to as many voters as possible,— campaign manager Clay Schroers said Friday.

But getting that message out takes money, and Edwards spent more money than she raised from July to September. The Edwards campaign reported $44,000 in disbursements during the third quarter. She ended September with less than $77,000 in cash on hand due mostly to the fact that she raised just over $100,000 during the second quarter.

Edwards, who is hoping that her fiscally conservative message will appeal to voters in the GOP-leaning district represented now by Rep. Adam Putnam (R), may have recognized that her campaign was not going as planned in recent months. She brought on a new campaign manager in early August and added a few consultants to her team.

The DCCC declined to comment about Edwards fundraising on Friday.

Meanwhile, Edwards’ Republican opponent, former state Rep. Dennis Ross, reported a $144,000 haul during the third quarter. That brought Ross’ cash-on-hand total to just over a quarter of a million dollars.

Ross has been endorsed by several Members of the Florida delegation and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and has been named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns— fundraising and infrastructure program.

Ross campaign manager Fred Piccolo touted his boss’ fundraising success Friday.

“In tough economic times, in an open seat, raising over $140,000 at the end of the summer months shows the strong, local support Dennis enjoys,— Piccolo said. “Put in perspective, Dennis received 429 in-district donations this quarter to Lori Edwards’ 15.—