Tim Canova, the longtime Wall Street critic and onetime Bernie Sanders adviser now running to unseat Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida's 23rd Congressional District, has now raised more than $2 million since announcing his candidacy in January. It's a campaign haul that is sure to flummox his critics, who said Canova was too much of an unknown to possibly challenge the entrenched Wasserman Schultz, one of the most visible faces in the Democratic Party.
Canova's campaign announced today that 58,421 people have shoveled 116,102 individual donations into his campaign, at an average of $17.16 each. Of those donors, the campaign reported that only 17 people have given the "federal maximum" of $2,700 — meaning Canova's army of 58,000 supporters can continue to flood his campaign with cash as the race continues. Canova will face Wasserman Schultz in the state's Democratic primary on August 30.
Because no poll has been conducted yet, campaign donations are one of the only methods by which outsiders are able to judge the perpetual horse-race that is American politics. According to Wasserman Schultz's last
Though Canova is quick to point out the differences between himself and Sanders, the vast majority of Canova's supporters are Bernie acolytes. Many seem to be donating to Canova's campaign purely out of hatred for Wasserman Schultz, who has been criticized of late for briefly defending the payday-loan industry and supporting the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
But Canova does have an uphill fight ahead of him, as establishment Democrats maintain a stranglehold on Broward County. During the state's Democratic presidential primary, more than 70 percent of the county voted for Hillary Clinton over Sanders.
Though Canova's campaign did not release a breakdown of where his donations came from, the candidate insists there are huge contingents of Broward voters backing him.
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"People all over Florida and all over our district are supporting our campaign for change," Canova said in a news release. "They have had enough of a political system that is awash in corporate money and corporate influence. We all have an interest in a decent jobs market, affordable prescription drug prices and health care, educational opportunities, and safe and healthy communities. Wasserman Schultz’s corporate donors are often standing in the way of progress for all.”
Canova, a longtime critic of corporate money's corrupting influence in politics, has made campaign-finance reform a major tenet of his campaign. He says he has not taken a dime from any corporate political action committees — Wasserman Schultz's top contributor, meanwhile, is the Fanjul Corporation, the most powerful "Big Sugar" company in Florida.
Speaking of "sugar," Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream