Keith Fitzgerald raised almost twice as much in campaign cash as Rep. Vern Buchanan during the most recent reporting period, according to disclosure reports filed with the Federal Elections Committee.
Between July 26 and Sept. 30, Fitzgerald collected almost $402,000 in contributions, bringing his total haul so far to more than $1.36 million.
In the same period, Buchanan raised almost $216,000, for a total raised of more than $1.76 million -- of which almost $125,000 has been refunded to donors.
Buchanan still holds a larger amount of cash-on-hand -- more than $1.1 million to Fitzgerald's $497,000. Buchanan's total includes $250,000 he loaned his campaign.
Fitzgerald was buoyed by the latest reports, which were due to FEC on Monday.
“I’m humbled by the support we have received from thousands of
Floridians,” Fitzgerald said in a news release. “Our campaign has the resources
and voter enthusiasm to beat incumbent Congressman Vern Buchanan.”
Buchanan's campaign said its latest filings reflects strong support for Buchanan in the newly drawn 16th Congressional District. It noted that a recent public poll showed Buchanan holding a 17-percentage-point lead over Fitzgerald.
"Vern's agenda to create jobs, restrain spending and strengthen Medicare has resonated with the people of the 16th District," said spokesman Max Goodman, in a news release. "We are humbled and grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support for Vern's re-election."
Fitzgerald has demonstrated an ability to remain financially competitive with Buchanan, one of the wealthiest members in Congress and one of the House GOP's top fund-raisers.
That prowess earlier earned promises of substantial help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. However, in recent weeks the DCCC has canceled plans to buy television ads designed to boost Fitzgerald's campaign.
One Washington publication wrote this week that the Buchanan-Fitzgerald race is one where Democrats' chances of winning have "waned "-- an assessment that was trumpeted by the Buchanan campaign.
Other political handicappers watched closely in Washington have rated the race as one Buchanan is favored to win.