Busansky Outperforms Bilirakis
In Florida's 9th Congressional District, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky raised significantly more money in the 2nd quarter of 2006 than Gus Bilirakis, a state representative and the son of incumbent Congressman Mike Bilirakis.
Busansky raised $335,000 in the last quarter, compared to $265,000 for Bilirakis - a $70,000 advantage. In terms of cash on hand, at the end of the first quarter, Busansky had $333,134 versus $873,252 for Bilirakis, who has benefited greatly by his father's connections. As a state representative, Bilirakis was not able to raise money during the legislative session.
There seems little question that Bilirakis will have a larger war chest, but it also seems very likely that his cash on hand advantage will continue to decline. Congressman Bilirakis' son will also benefit by name recognition by association and from a Republican leaning district.
Busansky believes she will need at least $1 million to win.
One of the major stories of this election cycle is the fundraising success that Democrats have had. While the Republican National Committee has consistently outperformed the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senate and Congressional committees have been putting the Republicans to shame - as have many Congressional challengers. This split dynamic appears to be driven by the ability of the RNC to call upon President Bush's star power among institutional donors to fill its coffers, but other committees and their candidates are being dragged down by the general malaise affecting the national GOP.