House Speaker Richard Corcoran hasn’t declared he’s running for governor -- yet -- but he hasn’t wasted any time reeling in the dough for a potential gubernatorial bid, raising $2 million last month alone.
Corcoran formed his political committee, Watchdog PAC, in late May in anticipation of a run for the state’s highest office, and it appears he hasn’t wasted any time rubbing shoulders with donors to hit the ground running should he decide to make a bid for governor.
While the majority of the donations fell in the $250-$500 range, two of the largest donations came from directly two political committees chaired up by some of Corcoran’s closest allies.
Conservative Principles for Florida, chaired by House Rules Chair and future Speaker Rep. Jose Oliva shuffled $250,000 to the Watchdog PAC while Floridians for Economic Freedom, chaired by likely future House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, gave the committee the same amount.
More of Corcoran’s buddies followed suit, with Conservative and Principled Leadership for Florida, headed up by Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, giving the PAC another $100,000.
Corcoran also transferred $113,000 through another PAC he heads up, Florida Roundtable, to fund the Watchdog PAC.
Another large donation came from American auto dealer and former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles Norman Braman, who gave Corcoran’s committee $100,000.
The Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami threw another $100,000, bringing the six-figure donation total to nearly $1 million.
Corcoran is clearly rallying support for something, and it’s likely a gubernatorial bid is where he’s set his sights after he finishes up as House Speaker in 2018.
The Land O’Lakes Republican has served in the Florida Legislature since 2010, but got his start by working hand-in-hand with some of the biggest names in Florida politics.
Corcoran formerly worked as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio when he served as Speaker of the Florida House and is widely considered a large factor in Rubio’s success, wielding power behind the scenes to catapult Rubio’s name from the Florida to the national stage.
Should Corcoran decide to jump in the race for governor, he’d be facing off against Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, the only declared Republican candidate --for now.
Putnam, who has served in office since he was 22, has already routed Corcoran in the money chase, raising $10 million for his gubernatorial run so far.
June’s fundraising numbers indicate Corcoran isn’t far behind, though, and is a force to be reckoned with.
Corcoran is also beefing up his potential campaign team, hiring some of the most prominent names in Florida politics as rumors swirl he’ll run for governor.
On Monday, POLITICO Florida reported Corcoran had hired well-known GOP strategist and pollster Tony Fabrizio, who helped Gov. Rick Scott maneuver a surprising victory against Alex Sink in 2010. Fabrizio also served as a pollster to Donald Trump during his run for president last year.
Other Republicans are also eyeing a run for governor, including Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who has also been hot on the money chase this year.
Latvala’s Florida Leadership Committee raised $410,000 last month and has a little over $3.5 million in the bank, but Latvala has not yet declared he’s running for governor.
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