Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s CD 25 rival matches her Q2 fundraising draw

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As South Florida’s longest-serving Democratic Representative in Congress, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a strong cash position to glide to a 10th term.

And that’s even though her chief rival in the race for Florida’s 25th Congressional District, Republican Carla Spalding, raised about the same quarter million dollars she did in the past quarter.

The $255,627 Wasserman Schultz added in the second quarter of 2022 was just $2,564 more than what Spalding added to her campaign.

Wasserman Schultz’s holdings, though, are like a jumbo jet to Spalding’s ultra-light. She has holdings of more than $1 million, as compared to Spalding’s $107,000.

In 2020, Wasserman Schultz beat Spalding, a former U.S. Navy veteran and Veterans Administration nurse, by 16 percentage points. Wasserman Schultz has secured at least 56% of the vote each of the last four cycles.

And even though the two nearly evenly split $500,000 worth of campaign contributions, the contrasts in their fundraising draw are pronounced.

Donations of less than $200 don’t have to be itemized, and 47% of Spalding’s fall into that category. Meanwhile, just 13% of Wasserman Schultz’s are not itemized.

Out of more than 1,000 donations to Spalding’s campaign, not one gave the $5,800 maximum.

Wasserman Schultz, meanwhile, received $5,800 from Henry Laufer and Marsha Laufer, both Lantana retirees; and Brian Neff of Cambridge, Massachusetts, CEO of Sintavia, which is a Broward County manufacturer of parts for air, space and sea vehicles.

Reaching the maximum donation level this quarter was Cesar Alvarez of Miami, senior Chairman of Greenberg Traurig; Rosalie Danbury, a Venice retiree; Clarence Otis a Windermere retiree; Craig Perry of Sunrise, a developer with Centerline; Philip Pilevsky of Great Neck, New York, president of Philips International; Rene Pilevsky a Lawrence, New York retiree; David Schwedel of Coral Gables, who works at Project Finance with Corallum; and Joel Tauber of Atlanta, Georgia, president of Tauber Enterprises.

Wasserman Schultz received 48 donations worth $96,000 from political action committees. They range from $500 from the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida in Belle Glade to $5,000 donations from three different PACs — the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Washington, Owens & Minor Inc.’s PAC, based in Mechanicsville, Virginia, and the American College of Radiology Associates in Reston, Virginia.

The radiologist group’s donation this quarter brought the total given to Wasserman Schultz this election cycle to $10,000.

When it came to expenses, Wasserman Schultz spent $203,856. The largest, single check, from Wasserman Schultz’s campaign — $50,000 — went to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

She spent nearly $30,000 on campaign management and fundraising consulting. The campaign spent $24,000 getting its message out through the mail, with $20,000 of it going to RWT Production in Annandale, Virginia for printing and postage. The campaign also paid $10,800 for digital media fees.

Travel and lodging came to $12,349, including a $1,328 stay at the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, now booking online for $350 a night.

Wasserman Schultz paid ActBlue Technical Services $4,000 for service fees.

Spalding, however, paid the Republican version of that fundraising platform, WinRed, a good deal more. It accounted for the bulk of the $20,000 that Spalding paid for “fundraising fees.” In the last quarter, WinRed charged her campaign 1,577 times, sometimes for 32-cent transactions and one for $9,960.

Postage and printing, $74,000 of it, accounted for the biggest expense out of the $227,000 Spalding spent in the past quarter. Her expense reports show that $21,830 paid for consulting, with all but $1,405 going to Silver Star South Florida in Miami. “Administration services” paid to a number of people cost the campaign $23,500 and “accounting services” cost $17,374 over the last quarter.

Donors to Spalding’s campaign come from across the country. The biggest single contributor to her campaign, however, came from the Omega List Company in McLean, Virginia, which donated $38,099 in “royalty from mail list.”

The biggest, single contributor to her campaign was from the Omega List Company, which donated $38,099 in “royalty from mail list.”

Other ballot-qualified candidates are distantly trailing in the money race. Democrat Robert Millwee raised $18,907, counting the $2,307 he gave his campaign and the $14,000 he loaned it. The $16,601 he spent during the quarter left him with $2,306.

Republican Rubin Young raised $246 in the last quarter and spent $278. Those expenses left him with $24.19 on hand.

The district was renumbered in this year’s redistricting effort and its boundaries shifted slightly to the south, with its northwest corner taking in Weston and stretching to take in Hallandale Beach to its southeast. But it remains a Democratic stronghold, with Joe Biden winning here by 20 points in 2020.

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