Candidates Pour Millions Of Their Own Money Into Campaigns

Aug 29, 2016

Rep. Irving "Irv" Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, debates on the House floor April 2, 2015. Slosberg has spent nearly $2 million of his own money to run for a Florida state Senate seat.
Credit Meredith Geddings / Florida House of Representatives

The entire Florida House of Representatives is up for election this year and redistricting has created several hotly contested state Senate races. That at times look like a game of musical chairs—and not everyone will get a seat. Some candidates are putting thousands—and in one case, millions of their own money to win.

Allison Tant, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman, doesn’t like it.

“It’s frustrating. I think this is an outgrowth of term limits. To tell you the truth. I think that’s what is happening, opportunities are fewer than they’ve ever been," she says of the candidates who have spend hundreds of thousands of their own money in campaigns.

Tant says politics is becoming a "rich-man’s game", and adds it’s become harder for people without a money machine behind them to run. She also says some candidates are focused on the next race and boosting their profile, instead of the job they're actually running for.

The Tampa Bay Times reported last week that 26 candidates have put more than $100,000 of their own money into their campaigns. A big jump from 2008. Among the biggest self-contributor is Democratic Rep. Irv Slosberg, who has spent nearly $2 million of his own money to win a state Senate seat that pays less than $35,000 a year.