Wednesday, July 12, 2006

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.


At 7/12/2006 05:46:00 PM, Blogger Jim Johnson said...

The only thing I will point out is that Tom Lee has been the darling of the MSM for his attempts at lobbying reform. If the MSM endorsements go his way, and I have friends that think he will get them all, then he will have a solid chance to beat Sink.

This is a battle of the unkowns for sure... and with Sink and Lee from Tampa - I put this in the toss-up column.

At 7/12/2006 06:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lee is not even a sure shot to get past Randy Johnson, who, thanks to the Yankees (go Devil Rays!) pitcher, has higher "name recognition." And he hasn't been the darling of anyone lately - Johnson has been getting more favorable coverage for his "Blue Tarp" tour. All Lee has been getting coverage for is folks withdrawing their endorsements.

Lee is praying that a financial edge gets him past Johnson and that the GOP's gubernatorial nominee coattails will carry him past a moderate Democrat who will have a tidy war chest by the time the general election season rolls around.

Having the Senate President come from Tampa Bay has been good for the area, but I'm not placing any money on Lee going anywhere from here.


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