WASHINGTON — Sen. Bill Nelson doesn’t have a GOP opponent – yet – in next year’s re-election contest, but he’s got $5 million in his campaign treasury.
The Florida Democrat reported raising more than $2.1 million in the three-month period that ended June 30, roughly the same amount he collected during the quarter of this year.
To emphasize grass-roots support for his campaign, Nelson also announced that he’s won the endorsement of End Citizens United, an organization that backs candidates who want to limit the influence of big-donor money on political campaigns.
The Democratic-leaning group says it plans to raise $35 million this cycle to support candidates, including Nelson.
No major Republican has stepped up yet to challenge Nelson’s re-election in 201. But almost everyone, including President Donald Trump, expects GOP Gov. Rick Scott to enter the race. Officially, Scott said he’s still mulling the move and has plenty of time to make a decision.
Nelson’s head start on fundraising is unlikely to put much of a scare in Scott.
The former health care executive spent $70 million of his own fortune to win the governor’s mansion in 2010.
Early polls have shown Nelson with a slight lead over Scott.