Ashley Moody holds massive fundraising lead in re-election bid

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As the General Election season kicks-off in the Florida Attorney General race, incumbent Ashley Moody enjoys a massive cash advantage.

Through Aug. 26 totals filed with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections, Moody had more than $5.16 million in her political committee, Friends of Ashley Moody, and more than $1.47 million in her campaign account.

All told, that is north of $6.63 million, well ahead of her Democratic opponent Aramis Ayala.

Ayala, a former one-term State Attorney in the Orlando region, won a three-way Primary with 44% of the vote last month. But that happened despite a fundraising operation that lagged behind one opponent, and the competitive imbalance is exposed further now that the General Election contest is finalized.

Through Aug. 26, Ayala has a little more than $15,000 on hand, and issues with fundraising that were actually discussed during the Primary resurface here in the fall.

Ayala spent the entire Primary season at a cash deficit against Daniel Uhlfelder, an attorney from Santa Rosa Beach who dressed up as the “Grim Reaper” in a pandemic-era protest against Gov. Ron DeSantis. Uhlfelder’s campaign was the only one of the three to take matching funds from the state of Florida, a point messaged throughout the stretch run of the campaign to no avail.

Moody is poised to take advantage, meanwhile, with strong fundraising to both her committee and her campaign account in the week ending Aug. 26. She raised $169,500 to Friends of Ashley Moody, with construction magnate Joe White of Belleaire contributing $100,000 of that. AT&T donated $25,000, while the Geo Group and CDR Maguire each donated $10,000.

Moody also raised $23,720 to her campaign account during the week ending Aug. 26, another sign of momentum. Like every other Republican running for a Cabinet seat this year, she enjoys a strong advantage over her Democratic opposition, a different scenario than her first campaign.

Moody won a competitive Primary four years ago, and spent much of the immediate aftermath of that contest retooling against that year’s Democratic nominee, Tampa lawyer Sean Shaw. This time around, she faced no Primary opposition.

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