What recession? Despite the state having the highest jobless rate in decades, homeowners struggling with mortgage rates, and consumer spending depressed, Florida's Republican and Democratic parties hauled in nearly $31.6 million in the two months since the primary election -- a record for Democrats -- according to finance reports filed on Friday.
Corporations, labor unions, wealthy individuals and political committees donated uncapped sums to fuel one of the most expensive election cycles on record. And even though polls show a lopsided number of voters favor Republicans this election cycle, the Florida Democratic Party showed its fight too -- raising just slightly more ($32,000) than the Republican Party of Florida.
The Republicans, marred by a year of intra-party infighting, were helped in part by Rick Scott, the millionaire businessman who has financed his own campaign with a record $73 million, making it the most expensive race in Florida history.
By contrast, Democrat Alex Sink finished the fundraising cycle having raised $11.2 million, including $6 million in soft money from in-kind contributions. Her campaign was aided by the Florida Democratic Party, which has no limits on what it can collect from contributors. She used the money to pay for the salaries of Sink’s campaign manager, communications director and other top deputies.