Democrat Patrick Murphy is continuing his streak of sizable fundraising in his bid for Marco Rubio's U.S. Senate seat.
The congressman from Jupiter announced today that he'd raised $2 million in the first three months of 2016, entering April with $5.6 million in cash on hand.
Murphy's campaign -- which has had significant support from establishment donors who typically give four-figure contributions -- noted that more than 85 percent of the contributions raised in the first quarter were under $200.
Murphy's primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, is more often the one to emphasize support from small-dollar donors. Grayson has not released his first-quarter numbers yet.
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, was the first of the crowded crop of Senate candidates to announce his quarterly fundraising. DeSantis announced last week that he'd raked in $1.1 million between January and March and had $3.2 million in cash on hand.
The other four Republican candidates have yet to release numbers. They are: U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Indian Shores, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami, Orlando businessman Todd Wilcox and Sarasota home-builder Carlos Beruff.
First-quarter campaign finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15.
Heading into 2016, Murphy had maintained a wide lead in fundraising over all other candidates. Murphy's campaign said today it has raised nearly $8.2 million to date.
“Opening 2016 with this kind of milestone is a sign that our campaign has strong grassroots support across Florida and will have the resources to win in August and in November,” Murphy campaign manager Josh Wolf said in a statement.
Murphy's latest fundraising numbers do not include dollars raised through "Floridians for a Strong Middle Class," a super PAC that's also raising money in support of Murphy's Senate run but is prohibited from coordinating with his official campaign. Super PACs are not bound by the $2,700-per-race cap on individual contributions -- as candidate's campaign committees are. "Floridians for a Strong Middle Class" hasn't announced its quarterly fundraising intake yet.
Photo credit: Walter Michot / Miami Herald