There is finally some daylight between the crowded field of Republican candidates vying to be the next U.S. Representative in Florida’s 18th congressional district.
Several candidates, who are considered to be possible frontrunners, are beginning to distance themselves from those who appear to be struggling to get any kind of footing in his soon-to-be contentious Republican primary race.
With the third quarter reporting from the Federal Elections Commission ending on September 30th, wounded Army veteran Brian Mast is reporting that he raised $167,000, bringing this grand total of campaign dollars raised to $235,000.
Brian Mast’s campaign press release states that the political newbie raised cash for his official congressional campaign account, as well as from the Mast Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee that is made up of the Mast for Congress account and the Valor Leadership PAC.
Martin County School Board member and wife to Florida state Sen. Joe Negron, Rebecca Negron, only raised $106,000 this quarter, bringing her net donation total to $281,000.
Negron, who is considered by some to be the frontrunner in this congressional race because of her husband’s political bully pulpit and the hard work he is adding behind-the-scenes to raise money for her campaign from loyal lobbyists and supporters.
Negron was expected to outpace her competitors in the donations department, including self-funder and former GOP congressional nominee Carl Domino, who dropped in $200,000 of his own cash into his campaign last reporting cycle.
Republican Attorney Rick Kozell came out swinging in his first campaign finance reporting cycle with an impressive $100,000 cash haul, but he was then slapped on the wrist by the FEC for having reported “excessive contributions.”
Kozell’s campaign replied to the FEC by stating that all of the “excessive” donations were “temporarily listed as such pending re-attribution to a spouse or re-designation to a different election period.” Team Kozell also acknowledged that they have refunded the $1,500 in business contributions that was also reported.
Chalk it up to being new to the political game and process, but most, if not all, federal campaign treasurers have read the very clear FEC guideline which outlines that business donations are not permitted.
Speaking of being a novice at politics and really screwing up on an FEC report, Dr. Marc Freeman is having to return a $200,000 check his business partner donated to his congressional campaign.
Paul Spain, who ran for congress in 2014 against Rep. Lois Frankel in Congressional District 22, has stated he was not fundraising until October 15, 2015. So, in other words, Spain has not raised any money for his congressional campaign.
He has a lot of catching up to do.
Another political newcomer is Carla Spalding, who has reported raising $5,435 this quarter.
Rounding off the list of declared GOP congressional candidates in this race is political operative Noelle Nikpour of Arkansas, who hasn’t reported any money raised.
Brian Mast seems to be in the driver’s seat at this point. If he continues with this momentum, he could very well leave the rest of the GOP congressional field eating his political dust.