2006 Florida Attorney General's race already expensive
The primaries are eleven months off and the general a little over a year, but the fundraising is going strong. George Bennett writes the following in today's Palm Beach Post.
Open Post- Outside the Beltway
State Rep. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is setting a new money-raising standard for Florida attorney general candidates. The West Palm Beach native will need it to boost his statewide profile if former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum enters the GOP primary.
Negron, chairman of the powerful House appropriations committee, says he'll report today that he's already passed the $1 million mark in contributions for the 2006 race. That's more than the $819,834 current AG Charlie Crist had amassed at the same stage four years ago. And it's far ahead of Negron's two announced Republican primary rivals — state Sen. Burt Saunders of Naples (who says he's raised about $200,000) and Pinellas County state Rep. Everett Rice (about $176,000).
The unknown factor in the AG contest is McCollum, who's looking at the race and expects to announce a decision soon. McCollum would enjoy an instant name-recognition advantage with
Republican primary voters. The 20-year congressman was one of the managers of Bill Clinton's impeachment and has run two statewide campaigns for U.S. Senate: a 2000 defeat by Democrat Bill Nelson and last year's GOP primary loss to eventual winner Mel Martinez.
"I'm doing my due diligence.... It's not far away from a decision time," McCollum said last week.
Negron, who met with McCollum a few weeks ago in Orlando, says he wouldn't be spooked by a McCollum candidacy.
"It won't have an effect on what I'm doing. I'm in the race to stay," Negron said. "All the candidates in this race are formidable and I would include (McCollum) in that category."
State Sen. Skip Campbell of Tamarac is the only Democrat in the AG race.
I don't much if anything about the candidates running so far. Bill McCollum would be a known factor but that don't guarantee him a win in the GOP primary or my vote in the general election.
Only one democratic candidate so far. It just shows how pathetic the party has become in statewide politics.