Charlie Crist’s Campaign Raises $1 Million in a Month, but He’s Lagging Far Behind Gov. DeSantis: “The $100 Million Man”

Toby Hazlewood

Has the Republican-turned-Democrat raised enough to mount a challenge?
Rep. Charlie CristTwitter of CharlieCrist

It was reported on May 9 that Charlie Crist - one of the Democratic-hopefuls for this November's gubernatorial election - raised over $1 million in April via his political fundraising efforts. It was the second consecutive month that such a sum had been raised via his official campaign fund and his independent political action committee known as 'Friends of Charlie Crist'.

While this means that Crist is well ahead of other Democratic candidates Nikki Fried and Annette Taddeo, there's still a huge gulf between what he has in his campaign chest and the sum that Governor Ron DeSantis can call upon.

DeSantis was recently dubbed "the $100 million man" for the vast sums accumulated via his campaign fund and the 'Friends of Ron DeSantis'.

In response to the news, Crist - who previously served as Republican governor of Florida between 2007-2011 before switching political allegiance to the Democrats - had words of thanks for his donors:

“I continue to be thankful for the thousands of Floridians who believe in our campaign’s mission and are fueling our fight to build a Florida for all. The Sunshine State cannot afford another four years under this reckless Governor — that’s why momentum is building in support of our vision for a new, better tomorrow. Help is on the way, Florida.”

Whether the funds raised so far are sufficient for Crist to mount a challenge against Gov. DeSantis remains to be seen.

DeSantis - a "fundraising behemoth"

In April, Fox News went as far as to describe Governor DeSantis as a "fundraising behemoth" for having raised over $100 million in 2021.

According to nonprofit the 'Friends of DeSantis' political action group and fundraising organization raised over $109 million in 2022.

This dwarfed the cash raised by other challengers in the 2022 gubernatorial election - Democratic candidates Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried report having raised just $7.1 million and $6 million respectively through February 2022.

Meanwhile, data for March 2022 alone suggests that DeSantis had received donations of over $7 million to the Friends of Ron DeSantis during that month - more than Crist raised in all of 2021.

Not just about the money...

Political success isn't guaranteed through having raised a lot of money from donors, but on paper it would look as though DeSantis has attracted a great deal more financial support compared to other candidates as Florida's 2022 gubernatorial elections approach.

Some have questioned whether the scale of financial support that he seems able to attract, are signs of his ambition beyond being Governor - his fundraising now seems to be on the scale of that required to mount a presidential challenge in 2024. This has long been speculated upon by his supporters.

Time will tell if that's the direction that DeSantis heads in.

Are you surprised at how relatively little Democrats are able to attract by way of financial support in Florida? Do you believe that financial donors should dictate which politicians obtain positions of power? Let me know in the comments section below.

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