The Republican Party of Florida posted its lowest fundraising year since 2003, new campaign finance reports released Monday show.
For the calendar year, the RPOF raised $11.6 million and spent $10.6 million. The amount raised is the lowest the party has raised in a year since 2003, when the party collected $8.6 million in donations, Florida Division of Elections records show.
The low fundraising totals were expected given the party’s tumultuous 2015. The year started with RPOF activist rejecting Gov. Rick Scott’s choice to lead the party. Typically, Republican governors in Florida have been given deference to choose who they want to lead the party. The day before the RPOF select state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia to lead the party, Scott pulled out $580,000 he raised for the party. The Florida Senate followed suit, pulling more than $700,000 it helped raise for the party.
Without the governor and state senators helping, the party has struggled to raise the kind of money that it typically raises. From 2011 through 2013, the party average raising $23 million a year. In 2014, when Scott was up for re-election and helping the party, the RPOF raised over $92 million.
Instead of raising money for the party, key political players are raising money in political action committees they run. Scott, for instance, raised about $4.5 million for the year in a political committee he runs called Let's Get to Work. Florida Agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam raised about $4 million for a fund he maintains called Florida Grown.
While the Republican numbers were low for 2015, they are still way ahead of where the Florida Democratic Party is. State Democrats raised $6.5 million in 2015 and spent $4.5 million according to new campaign finance reports released Monday.