Former state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam (R) “collected just over $1 million in January between his main campaign account ($379,452) and his Florida Grown political committee ($654,000). He began February with nearly $16.8 million in cash on hand between the two committees.”
Rep. Ron DeSantis’s (R) “campaign advertised a gaudy $3.3 million January haul — but more than $2.4 million of that figure was raised last year by a pro-DeSantis PAC and transferred to a new PAC in January. … DeSantis … raised $894,020 in new contributions in January. … The Fund For Florida’s Future nearly zeroed out its account last month, giving $2 million to the new DeSantis PAC on Jan. 18 and another $447,394 on Jan. 31. All told, DeSantis began February with more than $3.3 million in cash on hand.”
Among Democrats, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine (D) “raked in the most January money. His All About Florida PAC collected $647,000 while his main campaign raised $105,894. Levine began February with $4.1 million in cash on hand between the two entities. Levine so far has poured more than $3.6 million of his own money into the race.”
Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) “raised a combined $453,906 during January and began February with nearly $3.3 million in cash on hand.”
“Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) started this month with $676,528 in available cash between his campaign and his Forward Florida PAC after raising $148,746 in January.” (Palm Beach Post)
BIG NAMES. “Vice President Mike Pence’s Great America Committee gave the maximum $5,400 contribution to” Rep. Ron DeSantis’s (R) “federal campaign last quarter, just weeks before he launched his bid for Florida governor, according to recent FEC filings. A spokesman said Monday that DeSantis refunded half of the donation in January since he isn’t seeking reelection.” (National Journal)
DeSantis’s reelection committee reported $1.6 million on hand as of Dec. 31. DeSantis launched his campaign on Jan. 5 after President Trump endorsed DeSantis on Dec. 22. A DeSantis spokesman: “No decisions have been made about what we will do with his federal campaign account at this point.”
Pence spokesman Marty Obst, when asked if Great America Committee will monetarily support DeSantis’s gubernatorial bid: “We are continuing to evaluate races around the country on behalf of Great America Committee, and look forward to supporting a number of qualified candidates who support the White House agenda.” (Hotline reporting)
“Pence’s Great America Committee PAC distributed over $40,000 to a handful of Republican gubernatorial candidates, including incumbents, in the second half of 2017.”
“In the short term, it’s an effort to increase the possibility that Republican candidates or governors running for reelection have an easier time winning their primaries and then the general elections in their states. Longer-term, it’s a move to strengthen the ranks of loyalists to President Donald Trump and Pence and prepare for 2020.” (Politico)
DeSantis introduced and endorsed former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka at the St. Lucie County Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday. (Tampa Bay Times)
State House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) “headed to Las Vegas for the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition.” (Tampa Bay Times)
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After a conservative-backed immigration bill failed in the House, 193-231, leaders "postponed a vote on a 'compromise' immigration proposal until Friday. ... GOP leaders, however, are under no impression that they'll be able to secure the 218 votes needed in the next 24 hours to pass the text. Rather, the delay is to give members more time to read the bill."
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney today announced a plan to restructure the federal government, calling it part of the administration's efforts to "drain the swamp." In addition to merging the departments of Labor and Education—a detail which leaked earlier today—the proposal would privatize the Postal Service, begin moving federal workers out of the Washington area, and merge social programs into a department of Health and Public Welfare. The role of the Office of Personnel Management would also be largely phased out.