U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has attacked her Democratic challenger Tim Canova for having the bulk of his donations come from outside of Florida.
Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, raised about $559,000 in the first three months of 2016 as a first-time candidate.
From Wasserman Schultz's fundraising email for her Broward/Miami-Dade congressional seat:
“There’s something you should know. First quarter fundraising numbers are in. One of my six opponents raised a large amount of money. But at least 90% of his cash is flowing in from donors outside of Florida. Also outsider SuperPACs have attacked me earlier than ever before.
I represent South Floridians in Congress and I believe the voices of South Floridians should be heard the loudest -- not those of outside donors and groups.
Except, this year, outsiders seem to think they know what’s best for South Florida. They’re trying to defeat us, and they’re not backing down.”
The Center for Responsive Politics shows the top metro areas where donors live for each candidate. The highest amount of donations for Wasserman Schultz came from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Orlando, and Sarasota-Bradenton. For Canova, the top metro areas were New York, Los Angeles-Long Beach, the Boston area, Washington D.C. area and Chicago.
Wasserman Schultz, who lives in Weston, had about $840,000 cash on hand as of the end of March while Canova, who lives in Hollywood, had about $460,000.
Congressional candidates are allowed to take money from donors from anywhere in the U.S. and it’s no surprise that Canova would receive money from those in other states who are unhappy with her national role as Democratic National Committee chair.
For Canova to raise enough money for a serious challenge including for TV advertising, he will need donors from beyond Florida. However since many of his donations are outside of Congressional District 23 it’s difficult to predict how he will fare at the ballot box Aug. 30. No polls have been released yet.
First elected to Congress in 2004, Wasserman Schultz has never faced a primary challenger in re-elections in the Democratic district.
Canova countered with his own fundraising email seizing upon his “outsider” status.
“We don’t have the support of the lobbyists, corporate PACs, or any other Insiders. And we don’t want their support, because we are the grassroots. Now it’s up to us to make sure that their Washington Insider dollars are no match for our team of ‘Outsiders.’”
PAC donations comprise about one in five dollars raised by Wasserman Schultz while Canova has received no PAC money.