Maxwell Alejandro Frost, state Sen. Randolph Bracy and former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson are the only candidates in a field of 10 Democrats who are spending as if they’re contending for the Aug. 23 Primary Election in Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
Frost, the contest’s dominant campaign fundraiser since he entered the race a year ago; Bracy, who led in the only publicly released poll; and Grayson, who represented much of the north Orange County region in the district when he was in Congress, each spent in six figures to promote their candidacies during in the pre-Primary period of July 1 to Aug. 3.
That swamped nearly all other candidates with advertising, and perhaps narrowing the field, or at least the prospects of the other candidates in the run up to the election.
The Rev. Terence Gray might be considered a fourth contender, as he managed to put out $56,000 for mailers and other advertising in the 33-day reporting period.
None of the other six candidates’ campaigns reported doing more than pay a few internal campaign bills. That includes the campaign of another former member of the House trying to get back to Congress, Corrine Brown, who, like Grayson, also once represented much of the region.
Topping the Democrats as usual, Frost reported raising $234,000 in the pre-Primary reporting period. His campaign spent $382,000, including a six-figure TV buy and big purchases for mailers and digital advertising.
Frost has now raised more than $1.5 million, and on Aug. 3 his campaign reported still having $536,000 in the bank.
That’s in addition to the nearly $1 million being spent to support Frost by a national super PAC, Protect Our Future.
Bracy, who led comfortably in the only publicly released poll, saw his campaign fundraising continue to whither. He raised just $18,700 in the pre-Primary period, and $10,000 of that came in two political action committee checks, from the Machinists’ PAC and the Realtors PAC.
His campaign spent $211,000 in the 33-day period, including $47,000 on ad buys, $47,000 on mailers.
To date, Bracy’s campaign has raised $517,000. But on Aug. 3 he had just $78,000 left in hand.
Grayson’s finances are complicated, as he has rolled over previous federal campaign account money and debts dating back decades. On paper, his campaign had compiled $677,000 to run on in this election. But he has raised less than half of that since he entered the contest in June. In the pre-Primary reporting period, he picked up just $10,164.
His campaign spent $114,500 in that period, with $27,000 on billboards, and much of the rest going to consultants, likely turning into numerous mailers that have been distributed to Democrats in CD 10, and other unspecified advertising.
As of Aug. 3, his campaign had $134,000 in cash. It also had $3.2 million in inherited debts from loans Grayson has made to his various federal campaigns over the decades.
Gray nearly matched Grayson in new money, raising $9,900 in the latest period. His campaign spent $56,000, including $40,000 on mailers.
Gray has raised $311,000 to date. It had about $17,000 in the bank on Aug. 3.
Other Democrats showing little campaign financial activity in recent weeks are businessman Khalid Muneer. civil rights lawyer Natalie Jackson, businessman Jeff Boone, Teresa Tachon and Jack Achenbach. Brown and Muneer apparently haven’t even experienced enough campaign finance activity to file a report for the pre-Primary period
While the Democrats’ spending suggests a three- or four-person contest heading toward the Primary Election, the Republicans may appear a little more balanced — but on a much lower scale than the Democrats. CD 10 is a district with a strong Democratic lean in voter registration.
Among Republicans, Willie Montague’s campaign led the GOP field in fundraising and spending for much of the election cycle. But his campaign entered the pre-Primary period nearly broke. It raised another $11,000 and spent nearly $13,000.
As a result, though Montague had raised $211,000 to date, his FEC filings showed his campaign held only $18 in the bank heading toward the Republican Primary Election stretch run.
Republican Calvin Wimbish raised nearly $19,000 in the last report, and spent about that much. Wimbish had raised $74,000 to date and loaned his campaign $55,000, so on Aug. 3 he still had $70,000 for the Primary season.
Republican Thuy Lowe — who, like Grayson, Brown and Khalid, entered the contest just before the June 17 qualifying deadline — raised just $1,500 during the latest period. Her campaign spent $7,200.
Like Grayson, she also rolled in cash from previous congressional runs. Her campaign reported having $55,000 in the bank on Aug. 3.