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- 2013 - December - 11th -

Crist hauls in $3M; Scott files for race

By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida

Charlie Crist put down his first marker. And Rick Scott made official what everybody already knew.

Crist, the former Republican governor who is trying to win back his old job as a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he had raised about $3 million in November after formally entering the 2014 gubernatorial race.

Meanwhile, Scott opened a campaign account to seek re-election --- a long-anticipated move that cemented his candidacy and provided another avenue to rake in millions of dollars.

The gubernatorial moves came as political candidates and committees rushed to meet a Tuesday deadline for filing campaign-finance reports for November.

The reports reflect for the

first time a new law that increased campaign contribution limits to $3,000 for statewide candidates and $1,000 for other candidates, up from a longtime $500

limit.

Crist’s exact fund-raising totals had not been posted to the state Division of Elections website early Tuesday evening.

But he issued a statement indicating that he had raised about $3 million through his campaign account and through a closely aligned committee known as “Charlie Crist for Florida.” 

In the statement, Crist acknowledged that he will not be able to raise as much money as Scott.

While Scott only opened a campaign account Tuesday, a committee backing his campaign --- known as the “Let’s Get to Work” committee --- raised $5.87 million in November and has brought in nearly $20 million this year.

“Rick Scott says he will have more money than any politician in the history of Florida politics,’’ Crist said in the announcement. “But he doesn’t have the people.”

Campaign-finance reports popped up on the Division of Elections website throughout Tuesday and reinforced that Republicans will have a huge fund-raising edge over Democrats in key races next year.

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