Florida Politics: Javier Fernández tops Ana Maria Rodriguez in SD 39 monthly fundraising for first time

That could silence critics who worried about the Fernandez fundraising operation.

Democratic Rep. Javier Fernández managed to outraise his Senate District 39 opponent for the first time, according to January campaign finance report filed with the Division of Elections, but he still trails GOP Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez in overall cash on hand.

The new reports show Fernández collected more than $24,000 in a shortened fundraising window. Lawmakers are barred from raising money during the Legislative Session, which began on Jan. 14 and runs through mid-March.

Florida Future, a political committee supporting the Fernández bid, tacked on another $26,000 for the month, giving him just over $50,000 raised in total.

Rodriguez’ campaign added more than $18,000 last month. Her political committee, Ethics and Honesty in Government, courted another $17,000 for a total of just over $35,000.

Prior to January, Fernández had yet to top Rodriguez in fundraising dating back to last summer, when both candidates entered the SD 39 race.

That led to some worry from at least one member of the Senate Democratic caucus, who said in January those members were “disappointed” in the Fernández fundraising numbers thus far.

It won’t be clear whether this marks a turning point for the race — or a one-time blip in a shortened fundraising month — for another few months. Both Fernández and Rodriguez will be banned from fundraising for all of February, as well as part of March as Session wraps up.

That means we won’t see another full monthly fundraising report until May, when candidates are required to report their April numbers.

Both Fernández and Rodriguez saw a pair of $1,000 donations in January from Disney subsidiaries. Florida Future also received a $5,000 donation from Coral Gables megadonor Barbara Stiefel.

The Fernández campaign has just under $125,000 in cash on hand going forward, while Florida Future has another $70,000.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, has more than $300,000 in hard money and another $275,000 in committee cash.

Republican Sen. Anitere Flores, who currently represents SD 39, is term-limited. SD 39 covers all of Monroe County and part of Miami-Dade County.

Candidates and political committees faced a Monday deadline to report all financial activity through Jan. 31.

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