Campaign finance requirements govern the raising and spending of money for political campaigns. While not the only factor in an election’s outcome, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages, such as the ability to boost name recognition and promote a message. In addition, fundraising can indicate enthusiasm for candidates and parties.
This article lists the top individual fundraisers in Florida by their party affiliation as well as the top ten fundraisers overall. It is based on campaign finance reports that active Florida candidate political action committees (candidate PACs) submitted to the Florida Department of State. It includes activity between Jan. 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate PACs.
Top Florida Fundraisers
The top fundraisers in Florida elections are shown below. For the purpose of this article, fundraisers may include individuals who are on the ballot this election cycle as well as those not currently running for office but who have received contributions during this reporting period. Individuals are listed with the office that they held at the time of publication, if applicable.
In the Democratic party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Charlie Crist – $1,951,182
- Nikki Fried (Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services) – $398,817
- Hillary Cassel – $215,680
- Lauren Book (State Senate, District 32) – $111,500
- Ben Diamond (House of Representatives, District 68) – $77,924
In the Republican party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Ron DeSantis (Governor) – $36,189,181
- Ashley B. Moody (Attorney General) – $1,400,130
- Jason Fischer (House of Representatives, District 16) – $933,759
- Colleen Burton (House of Representatives, District 40) – $279,575
- Ed Hooper (State Senate, District 16) – $221,350
Overall, the top Florida Democratic candidate PACs raised $2.76 million in this period. The top Republican candidate PACs raised $39.02 million. Florida candidate PACs in the Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021, filing period raised a total of $50.26 million. Combined, these Florida candidates account for 83% of total fundraising.
Contributions to the top five Democratic candidates made up 71% of the total amount reported by their party’s campaigns. Contributions to the top five Republican fundraisers comprised 89% of the total amount reported by Republican campaigns.
The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top ten fundraisers. For more information on fundraising and spending for Florida races on the 2022 ballot, click here.
|Name||Party Affiliation||Raised this period||Spent this period|
|Ron DeSantis||Republican Party||$36,189,181||$574,541|
|Charlie Crist||Democratic Party||$1,951,182||$243,704|
|Ashley B. Moody||Republican Party||$1,400,130||$54,496|
|Jason Fischer||Republican Party||$933,759||$76,716|
|Nikki Fried||Democratic Party||$398,817||$30,099|
|Colleen Burton||Republican Party||$279,575||$83,435|
|Ed Hooper||Republican Party||$221,350||$39,016|
|Hillary Cassel||Democratic Party||$215,680||$33,563|
Campaign Finance Reporting Periods
The reports filed with the Florida Department of State cover Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021. Candidate PACs in Florida must file semiannual financial reports of their fundraising and campaign spending. During election years, candidate PACs also file additional financial reports before primary and general elections.
The next semiannual campaign finance reporting deadline for Florida legislators and candidates will include activity between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.
This article was published in partnership with Transparency USA. Click here to learn more about that partnership.