After announcing her Senate campaign in early June, U.S. Representative Val Demings (D-FL-10) reported $8.4 million in campaign fundraising during the months of July, August, and September, or quarter three (Q3) of 2021.

The funds raised in Q3 almost doubles the amount she raised in quarter two (Q2) of 2021 which totaled $4.6 million.

Approximately $2.9 million was raised in the three weeks following her announcement. The other $1.7 million came from previously raised funds for her reelection as a U.S. representative that she allocated to her Senate campaign following her announcement.

Demings’ Q2 campaign financial data provided by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), ending June 30th, indicated her cash on hand was just over $5 million.

Even with the recent $8.4 million haul from Q3 combined with the cash on hand from Q2, Demings must continue to bring in similar numbers in future stages of the campaign to be able to compete with incumbent Florida Senator, Marco Rubio. According to Demings’ campaign manager Zach Carroll, her campaign is ready to step up to the challenge.

“This will be the strongest campaign in Florida’s history — a campaign that goes everywhere and cedes no ground,” Carroll wrote to Florida Politics. “We are reaching out to voters of all political stripes — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — who know that Marco Rubio is failing to look out for them in Washington.”

He added, “We expect that these resources will pale in comparison to the vast amounts of wealthy corporate money that [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio will spend in this election … Make no mistake: we expect to get outspent, and our historically strong fundraising will simply allow us to keep up with the tens of millions of dollars wealthy special interests will dump into Florida on Marco Rubio’s behalf next year.”

Following the announcement of Demings Q3 numbers, Senator Rubio took to Fox News to announce his Q3 fundraising numbers, which were approximately $6 million. Although the Q3 numbers are less than Demings, Rubio said he has raised approximately $12 million since the beginning of 2021 and he had $9.6 million in cash on hand at the start of October – $3.6 million more than Demings.

The financial lead which Rubio’s campaign has over Demings, is a result of the lack of opposition that appeared during the beginning of the current election cycle that Rubio says he has been preparing for since 2016.

In other words, Rubio’s fundraising has an almost five-year head start on any of his opposing candidates. While Demings has recorded encouraging numbers, she still has a lot of ground to make up if she wants to take down Rubio.

The Q3 numbers given by both candidates are estimates and have yet to be officially published by the FEC.

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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Val Demings” by Val Demings.