Democratic candidate Mitch Mallett of Bradenton promises a hearty challenge of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan in next year's election, presuming he wins his party's nomination.
But already, he faces a daunting challenger: Buchanan's ability to raise campaign money, a prowess reinforced by his position on the House Ways & Means Committee, which among other things oversee's the nation's tax policies.
The latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show that as of Sept. 30, the end of the most recent reporting period, Buchanan had almost $543,000 cash on hand, a measure of a candidate's viability.
Mallett, who just filed his paperwork, has not reported any financial activity for his campaign.
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Buchanan built up his campaign account by taking in $167,225 in contributions between July 1 and Sept. 30, including $89,340 from individuals and $77,885 from political action and other committees.
So far this election cycle, Buchanan has raised a total $984,410 -- more than $623,000 from individuals and almost $362,000 from political committees.