Florida GOP outraises Sunshine State Democrats in lead-up to Primary nearly 5-to-1

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The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) pulled in almost five times as much money in the second quarter as the Florida Democratic Party (FDP), giving the GOP a significant edge as the parties head into the General Election season following Tuesday’s Primary.

RPOF reported receiving $24.3 million from April 1 to Aug. 18, while the FDP reported $4.9 million, according to Division of Election records.

The largest single donor to RPOF was Kenneth Griffin, a hedge fund manager who owns residences in Palm Beach County and Coral Gables, who gave $5 million — more than the entire FDP haul. Griffin has previously given $5 million to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee.

RPOF was also boosted by $2 million from Stefan Brodie, a founder of Purolite, a Pennsylvania-based chemical manufacturing company. Brodie was charged with violating the Trading with the Enemy Act and the Cuban Asset Control Regulations barring trade with Cuba, but was acquitted in 2002.

Other notable RPOF donors include private prison company GEO Group ($100,000); Florida Power & Light and its parent company, NextEra Energy ($85,000); and Centene, a health management company that manages part of Florida’s multi-billion dollar Medicaid program ($280,000).

RPOF also received funds from political committees controlled by DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody. In Moody’s case, the $450,000 was turned around to help pay for her campaign staff. DeSantis gave nearly $10 million.

FDP’s largest donor was Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former Mayor of New York City who ran for President in 2020, who gave $1 million. Other large contributors include the Service Employees International Union of Florida ($110,000); the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union ($125,000); and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ($25,000).

FDP was also aided by donations from law firms, led by The Morgan Firm headed by Orlando lawyer John Morgan ($100,000).

Several companies and trade groups whose bottom lines are affected by the state government gave to both parties, such as Publix ($25,000 each); Florida Realtors ($350,000 to RPOF and $90,000 to FDP); and the Seminole Tribe ($400,000 to RPOF and $100,000 to FDP).

Political committees controlled by U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who are engaged in a Primary battle with each other to see who will face DeSantis in the General Election, made pass-through donations which helped pay their campaign staff. Crist gave $450,000 and Fried gave $630,000.

As of Aug. 18, FDP had $17.15 million in its account and RPOF had $21.2 million.

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