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Putnam, Levine Continue Fundraising Streaks Over Gubernatorial Opponents in November

December 12, 2017 - 12:00pm
Adam Putnam and Philip Levine
Adam Putnam and Philip Levine

Florida’s gubernatorial candidates continued to mostly reel in the dough in November, stuffing their war chests as they prepare to head into the year which will decide their fates in Florida politics. 

According to the latest campaign finance reports, Republicans largely outperformed Democrats in the fundraising game, but Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine is giving the ever-growing field a run for their money -- literally -- as the candidates gear up for a spirited campaign.
Here’s how the candidates fared during the month of November:

Adam Putnam
The Commissioner of Agriculture has been hot on the fundraising game for quite some time, steadily raising campaign cash since 2015. Putnam has routinely led the way among GOP fundraising candidates and November proved no different. 
Putnam raised $704,000 through his political committee, Florida Grown, last month. The largest donation came from the Floridians United for Our Children’s Future political committee, which dumped $100,000 into the PC last month.
The second-largest donation came from Ring Power Corporation while Publix Supermarkets also donated a pretty penny to Putnam’s campaign, throwing $30,000 into his political committee.
Putnam spent $288,000 in November and ended the month with $15.35 million cash on hand.

Richard Corcoran
House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, has yet to officially announce his candidacy for governor, but he has been hot on the fundraising game since he created his Watchdog PAC this summer.
Last month, Corcoran raised $754,000 through the committee, with two $100,000 donations coming from the Voice of Florida Business PAC and the West Palm Beach-based Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart and Shipley law firm. 
Corcoran spent $106,000 and ended the month with $4.7 million cash on hand. He is widely expected to jump in the governor’s race soon.

Jack Latvala
Latvala became the most controversial GOP gubernatorial candidate after six women told POLITICO Florida he had made inappropriate sexual comments or groped them last month.
Latvala’s campaign for governor seems to have taken a hit from the allegations. As Sunshine State News previously reported, November was a bad month for Latvala, whose ambitions to become governor seem essentially dead. 
Latvala’s Florida Leadership Committee only reported one donation for the entire month of November, from the Florida Association of Health Plans, which gave the committee $5,000 on Nov. 17. 
Latvala spent significantly more than he brought in -- $274,000 -- and ended the month with $4.8 million cash on hand.

Ron DeSantis
The Republican congressman from Ponte Vedra Beach is another Republican who hasn’t officially declared he’s running for governor -- at least not yet. 
Last month, DeSantis raised $388,000 through his Fund for Florida’s Future committee, with the bulk of that money coming from Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, who gave $250,000 to the committee. Another $25,000 came from Howard Rich from Philadelphia.
DeSantis spent $40,000, leaving him with $2 million cash on hand. 

Philip Levine
Self-starter, businessman and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine had another strong showing during the month of November, raising six figures for his newly-announced gubernatorial bid. 
Levine raised $207,000 through his All About Florida committee last month, with the largest donation -- $75,000 -- coming from Israeli businessman Mickey Arison. Another $50,000 came from real estate investor Aria Mehrabi.
Levine, relatively unknown in the race, is prepared to spend big to make his name known. He has said he’s ready to spend as much money as it takes to fuel a gubernatorial bid, possibly dumping $20 million into his campaign.  

Gwen Graham
The former U.S. Rep. raised the most amount of money among her Democratic opponents during the month of November, bringing in around $108,000 for her Our Florida political committee. 
Graham’s largest donation of $25,000 came from a Lynn Haven-based donor and American businessman James Finch and another $10,000 came from philanthropist Lawrence Dubow. 
Graham is widely viewed as the frontrunner among the Democratic candidates and spent $22,000 in November, leaving her with $2.8 million cash in her war chest. 
Andrew Gillum
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has had a tough run for governor since declaring his candidacy in March. For months his campaign has been largely under water, failing to gain much traction among donors he will desperately need to fund his campaign. 
Last month was no different for Gillum, who raised only $2,950. The largest donation -- $2,500 -- came from Frank Torre. 
Gillum spent $52,000 and ended the month with $483,000 cash on hand.

Chris King
The Orlando businessman and political newbie raised $45,000 through his Rise and Lead political committee, with the biggest donation coming from senior living facility Serenity Towers on the St. Johns, which donated $25,000 to his campaign.
King spent $133,000 last month and ended the month with $1.7 million cash on hand. 


Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


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