February 1, 2018 Media

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Vern Buchanan lags David Shapiro in fourth-quarter fundraising

But incumbent Congressman has a huge campaign treasury to fend off any opponents.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan raised $190,490 in the fourth quarter of 2017, lagging behind Democratic opponent David Shapiro in fundraising for the quarter, according to reports submitted Wednesday.

But Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, has a huge war chest to fend off any opponents. He ended 2017 with $2.2 million in cash on hand, a large amount, even for a six-term incumbent like Buchanan.

And Buchanan’s fourth-quarter haul is roughly equal to what Shapiro has in cash on hand.

“We are humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support from folks throughout the region that has allowed us to have over $2.2 million cash on hand,” said Buchanan spokesman Max Goodman. “As co-Chair of Florida’s bipartisan congressional delegation, Vern is working every day to lower taxes for middle class families, protect Medicare and Social Security, crack down on opioid abuse, and put an end to Washington gridlock.”

Shapiro, a Siesta Key attorney, announced last week that he’d raised more than $250,000 in the fourth quarter of 2017, the first fundraising quarter since he entered the race in October.

Shapiro submitted his full fourth quarter report Wednesday. It shows he spent $58,375 during the quarter and has $191,752 in cash on hand. The candidate has raised significant sums online through ActBlue, an Internet fundraising tool set up to help Democrats.

Democrat Jan Schneider also is seeking the District 16 congressional seat – which includes northern Sarasota County, Manatee County and part of southern Hillsborough County – but a fundraising report for her campaign had not been posted on the Federal Election Commission website as of Thursday morning.