Jacksonville State Rep. Jay Fant Nears $1 Million Campaign Funding Mark In Race For Attorney General

Although election day is still more than a year away, the 2018 State Attorney’s face in Florida is already in high gear when it comes to fundraising.

Ashley Moody, a former Hillsborough County circuit judge, has crossed the $1 million mark in contributions for her run to be Florida's next attorney general, according to new campaign-finance numbers.

But her Republican primary opponent, Rep. Jay Fant of Jacksonville, nearly matched Moody's total by infusing his campaign with $750,000 of his own money on Sept. 30, the last day of the most recent reporting period.

“We are currently 13 months away from the election, and our campaign's funds are at nearly $1,000,000 to carry our conservative message across the state,” Fant said in a prepared statement.

With $28,775 in contributions in September, Fant had raised a total of $208,075 for his campaign account and loaned the $750,000. He had spent $31,523 as of Sept. 30.

A Fant political committee, “Pledge This Day,” had $54,364 in the bank.

Moody in a news release, played up that she outpaced Fant in contributors and contributions “by a margin of over 5 to 1.”

“Our campaign's success also reflects the voters' desire for an attorney general who has real experience prosecuting crimes and upholding the rule of law,” Moody said in a prepared statement.

Moody reported her campaign account picked up $108,150 in September, bringing the overall contribution total to $864,146. The campaign had spent $43,183.

Meanwhile, Moody's political committee, “Friends of Ashley Moody,” pulled in $62,500 in September and had raised a total of $200,000. The committee had spent $35,246 as of Sept. 30.

Democratic candidate Ryan Torrens, an attorney from Hillsborough County, picked up $4,853 in September. Since entering the contest on May 22, Torrens had raised a total of $39,172, while spending $31,198.

State candidates, political committees and parties faced a Tuesday deadline for filing reports showing finance activity through September. But the statewide races for attorney general and other Cabinet posts could get more crowded as the 2018 elections draw closer.

The race also got more crowded Friday with state Rep. Frank White, R-Pensacola, announcing his bid for attorney general.  White is a general counsel and chief financial officer for a group of auto dealerships.