Florida: Ross Raises $170,000 in Open 12th District Seat

Posted July 12, 2010 at 6:13pm

Former state Rep. Dennis Ross (R) raised about $170,000 from April to June for his open-seat bid in the 12th district, his campaign said Monday.

That tops the Democrats’ money leader, Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards, by $100,000.

Edwards turned in another underwhelming fundraising performance during the second quarter despite help from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Vice Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.).

Edwards raised about $62,000 during the quarter and ended up banking a little more than $105,000, according to spokesman Tony Coppola.
Ross had about $450,000 on hand at the end of June, spokesman Fred Piccolo said.

While some campaign watchers have already written off Edwards, the DCCC has stood by her and has named her to its “Red to Blue” fundraising and campaign infrastructure program.

In a fundraising letter for Edwards, Wasserman Schultz said she’s optimistic about Democrats picking up the 12th district seat in part because the contest became a three-way race after Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson decided to drop out of the Republican primary and instead run as a candidate of the Florida Tea Party.

Wilkinson declined to release his second-quarter fundraising totals on Monday but acknowledged that “you won’t see anything that makes people in Washington think I’ve got a chance.”

Wilkinson, who has served as a county commissioner since 1998, said he’s running a grass-roots campaign and doesn’t expect to raise more than $50,000 for his campaign.

Ross is facing another tea party activist in the GOP primary next month.

Edwards faces 2008 nominee Doug Tudor in the Democratic primary. In 2008, Tudor took 43 percent against Rep. Adam Putnam (R), who is leaving to run for state agriculture commissioner.

Rubio Campaign Collects $4.5 Million

Republican Marco Rubio announced Monday that contributors gave his Senate campaign more than $4.5 million during the second quarter.
He did not release a cash-on-hand total, so it wasn’t immediately clear how much of that money had been banked and how much already has been spent.

Rubio’s nomination is assured, but the general election picture is fluid.

Gov. Charlie Crist left the GOP to run without party affiliation. His campaign has not yet released donation figures for the April-through-June period.

Also yet to announce financial information is the campaign of real estate developer Jeff Greene, who is going after the Democratic nomination that once seemed guaranteed to Rep. Kendrick Meek.
Meek said last week that his campaign took in more than $1 million during the three-month reporting period.