Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera raised about $318,000 in the last three months of 2015 and has about $431,000 cash on hand, his U.S. Senate campaign told the Miami Herald on Saturday.
Those numbers put Lopez-Cantera, who is from Miami, well behind U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis of Ponte Vedra Beach, the Republican fundraising leader, who announced earlier this month that he amassed about $772,000 – nearly two-and-a-half times as Lopez-Cantera -- and has about $2.5 million in the bank. Neither candidate’s totals include fundraising by allied super PACs.
The other two top Republicans in the race to replace Marco Rubio, U.S. Rep. David Jolly of Indian Shores and defense contractor Todd Wilcox of Orlando, have not released their totals yet. Financial reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday. The primary will be held in August.
To temper the financial news, Lopez-Cantera’s campaign also announced endorsements from more than half of the Republicans in the Florida Legislature. The list of 47 lawmakers (out of 81) comprises mostly representatives – Lopez-Cantera used to be one – and includes the three Republican senators from Miami: Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, Anitere Flores and René García.
Lopez-Cantera’s campaign called him the “grassroots” front-runner because it said 92 percent of donations came from Floridians – a dig at DeSantis, who has drawn big support from Washington D.C. conservatives and other interests.
“I’m honored that we continue to receive so much support from within our great state, and our campaign is right on track,” Lopez-Cantera said in a statement.” We are running a grassroots campaign from the ground up not the top down, and I look forward to continuing to work with our extensive grassroots network to ensure that we win so that Floridians can have a senator who will always put Florida first.”