In the Cabinet Races, Sink the Leading Fundraiser
Tampa Democrat Alex Sink is the leading fundraiser, not just in the race for Chief Financial Officer, but among all candidates for Cabinet positions. Senate Leader Tom Lee (R-Brandon) and Rep. Randy Johnson (R-Celebration) raised $298,027 and $117,670 , respectively. Combined, the Republicans raised less than Sink's $508,586. The Republicans were hampered by their inability to raise money during the session, but they also risk being even more hamstrung now that they no longer have legislative carrots to dangle in front of donors.
Sink's success is almost certainly a combination of two factors. The first is her own rolodex from her time as Florida President of Bank of America and that of her husband, 2002 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Bill McBride. The second is the perception that state dynamics have made her the frontrunner, and money flows towards perceived winners. The theory behind this is that Florida voters are looking for a change. Gerrymandering makes legislative change unlikely, but an open, statewide seat with no heavy hitters from the Republican side (Lee may be the Senate President, but that does not mean anybody outside of his suburban Tampa district knows who he is) provides the perfect opportunity for Florida voters to correct a perceived partisan imbalance.
Numbers courtesty of the Florida Division of Elections.