While many Floridians are focused on the race for governor, there are a couple of statewide races worth paying attention. The current attorney general (AG), Pam Bondi, is termed out in 2018, and there are five candidates attempting to replace her.
Let’s take a look at the October financial reports for all five candidates running for attorney general.
Jay Fant, Republican
Fant, a Republican who represents District 15 in the Florida House of Representatives, launched his campaign for attorney general back in May and is making some noise.
He’s raised $220,433 so far with $12,358 coming in October. His largest donations came from Suntrust Bank Good Government political action committee (PAC), and Farmers & Merchants Bank, Southeast Petro Distributors.
But Fant loaned his campaign $750,000 in September to ensure that he would remain competitive for the duration of the campaign.
Fant is a longshot to win the race for attorney general, but he’s attempting to show himself as the most conservative candidate in the race by touting his support of Trump and a repeal of Obamacare.
Ashley Moody, Republican
Moody is the frontrunner in the race and is proving so by her fundraising numbers. In October, she pulled in $105,490 to bring her total to $969,636. Moody’s largest donations came from Northwest Florida Holdings, Bay Fabrication, Eastern Shipbuilding, and a host of others.
She’s received endorsements from a host of elected officials and political organizations, including current Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Moody also opened a PAC named Friends of Ashley Moody. So far, the PAC has raised $243,000 with $43,000 coming in October. That firmly places her above $1 million raised and keeps her as the frontrunner to succeed Bondi as AG.
Ross Spano, Republican
If Fant is a longshot candidate, Spano comes in below him. The Republican represents Riverview and chairs the Criminal Justice Subcommittee in the Florida House of Representatives.
So far he’s raised just $51,000 in his bid for attorney general. In October, he gained $13,000 with promises to bring in more in the coming months.
Spano has stated that he’ll begin rolling out endorsements soon and is running because he believes that he’s the best candidate out of all five.
Ryan Torrens, Democrat
Torrens is the only Democrat in the race right now, but that may change soon. In the interim, he raised $9,934.11 in October, bringing his total raised to $49,106.47.
He’s an attorney out of Tampa, where his law firm is located and focuses on mortgage foreclosures.
Torrens has derided big money in politics and believes that the main job of attorney general is consumer protection. He plans to raise $3 million and wants to do so through small donations.
To keep up with the field, Torrens will need to raise more money. There are rumors that Representative Sean Shaw may run as well as other Democrats considering.
So far, he’s pulling in money from grassroots donations but will need more to be competitive.
Frank White, Republican
White, another Republican in the race, is a member of the Florida House with hopes of replacing Bondi as AG. He raised $1,652,800 in October to take the fundraising lead with $1,736,400 in total. But White wrote his campaign a check worth $1.5 million.
He’s aiding his own case to keep pace with everyone else, and likely has the ability to write himself another check should he fall behind.
Without the personal donation, White did raise $152,000, which is a more than respectable number. White also collected $30,000 from his PAC, United Conservatives. He was also endorsed by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry Republican Congressman John Rutherford.
Seminole County State Senator David Simmons
Simmons is termed limited in 2020, he has talked about running for congressional district 7 or Attorney. We expect a decision by the Senator after the first of the year.