With more than $300,000 in contributions in April, attorney general candidate Ashley Moody wants everyone to know she’s outpacing her Republican opponents in raising money for their August primary battle.
“Judge Ashley Moody continues to outraise and outperform her Republican primary opponents with each and every campaign finance reporting period,” Moody campaign manager Nick Catroppo said in a statement Friday.
The former Hillsborough County judge brought in about $325,000 in April for her campaign account and the political committee Friends of Ashley Moody, positioning her to begin May with $1.7 million on hand, according to newly posted numbers on the state Division of Elections website.
That total remains behind the $2.09 million available to GOP primary opponent Frank White, a state House member from Pensacola who has put more than $1.5 million of his own money into the campaign.
White received $161,747 in contributions in April for his campaign account and the political committee known as United Conservatives. That included $71,700 from auto dealers, $46,250 from developers and $14,100 from contributors tied to the energy industry.
The auto money included $50,000 from Sansing Holdings, where White serves as general counsel and chief financial officer for the chain of Sandy Sansing auto dealerships. White’s also received $31,000 from D.A.B. Constructors of Inglis and $10,000 from Gulf Power, the largest electricity provider in Northwest Florida.
Meanwhile, fellow Republican candidate Jay Fant, a state House member from Jacksonville, posted $18,065 for the month through his campaign account and the political committee called Pledge This Day.
Fant, whose contributions included a $9,000 check from Jacksonville investor Robert Cook and $4,500 from lawyers and law firms, ended April with $838,929 on hand.
During the early stages of the campaign, Fant has aggressively targeted Moody, trying to portray her as a liberal and as having the backing of trial lawyers.
But while Fant has put $750,000 of his own money into the race, Moody has drawn more contributions.
Moody’s April contributions included $107,077 from development, construction and real estate fields, $43,150 from the financial-services industry and $33,050 from lawyers. Another $50,000 came from political organizations, including $25,000 from the Treasure Coast Alliance, a political committee led by outgoing Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart.
Moody also received $1,000 from Friends of Dana Young, the political committee of Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, and $10,000 from the Florida Prosperity Fund, which is tied to the business advocacy group Associated Industries of Florida.
Moody, who has the backing of outgoing Attorney General Pam Bondi, also has continued to take advantage of in-kind support from the Republican Party of Florida.
In April, Moody drew $104,729 in in-kind consulting, staffing and research from the state party, which has now provided her with $233,915 in in-kind assistance.
On the Democratic side of the race for attorney general, state Rep. Sean Shaw of Tampa posted $131,551 in contributions in April to his campaign and the political committee Sean Shaw for Florida, of which $62,150 was from the legal field.
Shaw’s political committee received $10,000 from TECO Energy Inc., $10,000 from the Tampa-based law firm Swope, Rodante and $10,000 from the West Palm Beach-based firm Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. Shaw started May with about $316,000 on hand in the two accounts.
Ryan Torrens, an attorney from Hillsborough County who has been running on the Democratic side since May 2017, picked up $5,328 in April. Torrens, who had raised a total of $100,419, had burned through all but $4,343.
Jim Turner reports for the News Service of Florida.