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Jimmy Patronis Leads Money Chase Among Florida Cabinet Hopefuls

December 12, 2017 - 4:45pm
Jimmy Patronis, Jeremy Ring, Frank White, and Baxter Troutman
Jimmy Patronis, Jeremy Ring, Frank White, and Baxter Troutman

Republicans continue to lead the way in Cabinet fundraising, posting more impressive numbers than their Democratic counterparts (which are far and few between) as they continue to raise cash for their bids for a seat in the Florida Cabinet. 

All four jobs are up for grabs in 2018 and the field is growing as candidates spread the word about their campaigns. 

Here’s how Florida Cabinet hopefuls fared in fundraising during the month of November:


Chief Financial Officer
Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is currently the only Republican to officially declare his candidacy for the job. 

Patronis is relatively new to the CFO title, but hasn’t had too much trouble getting donors to contribute to his bid for a second term. Last month, Patronis reeled in $528,000 for his re-election bid, with contributions coming from a wide array of industries from the restaurant business to law firms and car dealerships.

The largest donation to Patronis’ Treasure Florida political committee came from Heritage P&C Insurance company, which wrote Patronis a check for $100,000.

Beverage distributor Lewis Bear Company gave Patronis $25,000 and U.S. Sugar also contributed $25,000 to the committee at the end of the month. 

Patronis has only been in the fundraising game since August, but he has kept expenditures low for the past few months. Last month, he spent $23,000 and has over $1.15 million cash on hand. 


Tom Lee
State Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, is also rumored to be considering a bid for CFO, quietly meeting with consultants to discuss the possibility of a run. Lee has been rumored to be mulling over a bid for months, and his overall fundraising numbers seem to suggest he would have a good shot at the job if he decides to jump in the race.

Last month, Lee’s fundraising slowed a bit from previous months where he raised six figures. His political committee, The Conservative, raised only $28,000. 

The largest donation of $10,000 came from the Voice of Florida Business PAC, which is run by the Associated Industries of Florida. The second-largest donation to Lee’s committee came from the Florida Hospital Association.

Lee spent over $18,000 last month, ending November with around $2.3 million cash on hand.

Jeremy Ring
Former State Sen. Jeremy Ring is currently the only Democratic candidate to be in the running for CFO but didn’t have a particularly strong fundraising streak during the month of November.

Last month, Ring’s political committee brought in $10,000 for his bid -- with $5,000 coming from the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

The only other donation -- also for $5,000 -- came from Michael Singer.

Ring spent more than three times the amount he raised last month, with expenditures totaling over $33,000. He ended the month with over $113,000 cash on hand.

Attorney General

Frank White
Newly-minted Republican AG candidate Frank White led the money chase during the month of November, bringing in $52,000 through his United Conservatives political committee. 

White currently serves as chief financial officer and general counsel for the Sansing Dealer Group, which runs automobile dealerships in the South. 

Florida Jobs PAC made two $10,000 donations to White’s committee, which also received another $10,000 boost from Gulf Power Company and $10,000 from banker Richard Ware. 

White ended the month with $76,000 on hand.

Ashley Moody
Republican Attorney General hopeful Ashley Moody raised $10,000 through her Friends of Ashley Moody political committee last month, only receiving one donation on Nov. 30.

Florida Jobs PAC contributed $10,000 Moody’s committee, which kept expenditures low last month, only spending $594. 

Moody ended November with $216,000 cash on hand. 


Jay Fant
State Rep. Jay Fant, R-Jacksonville, raised $9,000 through his Pledge This Day political committee last month, with the sole donation coming from Robert Cook from Jacksonville.
Fant’s committee spent more than it raised in November, posting $14,000 in expenditures, leaving the Jacksonville Republican with $33,000 cash on hand.
Commissioner of Agriculture

Denise Grimsley 
Republican state Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, has been heavy on the fundraising game in the race for Republican nomination for Ag Commissioner.
Last month, Grimsley raised $66,000 through her Saving Florida’s Heartland political committee, with $25,000 of that total coming from the Treasure Coast Alliance. Another $10,000 came from Florida Prosperity Fund.

Grimsley’s expenditures hovered around $22,000 last month, leaving her with $489,000 cash on hand.

Matt Caldwell
Republican state Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, formally announced his campaign for Florida Agriculture Commissioner in May and has been the top dog in the money game for the Cabinet job. 
Last month, Caldwell raised $53,000 via his Friends of Matt Caldwell political committee. The largest donation of $25,000 came from the the Associated Industries of Florida political committee, which has frequently scored Caldwell positively in their annual rankings for business-friendly political positions. 
Caldwell spent around $22,000 last month, leaving his committee with $693,000 cash on hand.

Baxter Troutman
For the third month in a row, former state Rep. Baxter Troutman didn’t raise any money through his iGrow political committee, but he still remains the leader in the money game among the GOP candidates running for Ag Commissioner.
Though his political committee only has $51,000 cash on hand, Troutman himself has $2.54 million overall on hand as of Nov. 30. 
Troutman self-funded most of that money, putting $2.5 million of his own cash into his personal campaign account in June, which gives him a significant advantage over Grimsley and Caldwell so far. 

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