U.S. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, outspent his Democratic challenger Keith Fitzgerald by an almost 5-to-2 margin in last year's election, according to new financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Elections Commission.
Through Dec. 31, Buchanan spent $3.56 million on his re-election campaign, compared to almost $1.45 million spent by Fitzgerald.
In the Nov. 6 election, Buchanan was re-elected to a fourth term in Congress, receiving 53.6 percent of the vote, compared to 46.4 percent for Fitzgerald.
The fund-raising gap between the two candidates was smaller than the spending gap, in part because of Fitzgerald's fund-raising prowess and in part because Buchanan started the campaign with cash raised in prior years and because he loaned his campaign $500,000.
Buchanan collected more than $2.7 million in contributions, and Fitzgerald raised almost $1.45 million. At the end of the year, Buchanan's campaign finished with $125,627 in cash on hand, and $250,000 in debt, according to the FEC filings.
The filings reveal that Fitzgerald raised more than Buchanan from individual donors. Fitzgerald collected $1,112,288 from individuals, while Buchanan raised $1,082,753.
Buchanan made up the difference, and then some, with almost $1.09 million in donations from political action and other committees. Fitzgerald reported more than $335,000 in contributions from PACs and other committees.
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