Democratic Senate Candidate Going Up Against Marco Rubio Sets State’s Fundraising Record

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Democratic Florida Rep. Val Demings raised $8.4 million during the third quarter of 2021 as part of her campaign against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, her campaign manager announced Wednesday.

“This will be the strongest campaign in Florida’s history — a campaign that goes everywhere and cedes no ground,” campaign manager Zach Carroll said in a statement announcing the cash haul. The total set a state record for fundraising during a non-election year, according to Florida Politics. Demings has about $6 million on hand.

Demings, who has served in the House of Representatives since 2017, announced her candidacy against Rubio in June. The Florida state legislature is expected to redraw Demings’ Tenth District, making a re-election bid difficult for the former Orlando police chief.

During her campaign, Demings has sought to paint Rubio as out of touch with Floridians. Carroll slammed him as a “slick, spineless, and pandering politician who looks out for himself and corporate special interests” in his fundraising statement.

In response, Rubio has attempted to tie Demings to the far-left “Squad,” noting that she has voted the same way as Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar more than 90% of the time. (RELATED: Potential Biden VP Pick Val Demings Calls Proposal To Defund Police ‘Very Thoughtful’)

Rubio raised $6 million in the third quarter, and has $9.6 million on hand.

Carroll expressed concern that Demings would be outraised and outspent by Rubio.

“We expect to get outspent, and our historically strong fundraising will simply allow us to keep up with the tens of millions of dollars wealthy special interests will dump into Florida on Marco Rubio’s behalf next year,” he said.

A poll of 405 likely Florida voters conducted in September by the Republican-affiliated VCreek/AMG found that in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, Rubio held 42% support and Demings held 38%. 15% of Floridians were undecided.