Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy entered October with more than $1 million left to spend in her re-election bid for Florida’s 7th Congressional District while her opponent Republican state Rep. Mike Miller‘s campaign came into the homestretch almost broke.

Miller has managed to raise $304,000 since the pre-primary report filed on Aug. 8 but he also spent a half-million dollars, in part on his Aug. 28 primary victory and in part on September and early October advertising to take on Murphy.

As a result, his campaign had just $36,872 in the bank at the end of the third quarter, according to Federal Election Commission reports posted late Monday.

Murphy has both out-raised and out-spent Miller during the period, and still had $1.1 million in the bank left for more campaign spending on Sept. 30, according to the FEC reports. The latest reports show she raised $482,000 since the Aug. 8 pre-primary report, and spent $967,000.

Overall, Murphy has raised nearly $3 million; Miller, $869,000, including a $125,000 loan.

Murphy’s campaign touted the advantage and a key past endorsement that signaled a tough time for Miller in September, and then declared that the Miller campaign “is running on fumes.”

“Stephanie Murphy is recognized as one of the most effective and bipartisan legislators, including by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It follows that she has a broad base of support as she seeks to continue representing this community in Washington,” Murphy campaign spokeswoman Christie Stephenson stated in a news release issued Monday evening. “Her campaign for jobs, security, and equality is heading into the final weeks with a strong war chest whereas Mike Miller is running  on fumes and still recovering from a bruising primary battle.”

The two are battling for a district, covering Seminole County and north and central Orange County, which once was a Republican stronghold but now appears to be Murphy’s to lose.

Unlike the 2016 election in which Murphy upset 12-term Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica, there is virtually no outside money flowing in to aid either campaign, signaling that no outside groups are riding to Miller’s rescue or assuming that Murphy needs a boost. In 2016 more than $7 million poured into the district from outside groups such as the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. This year so far: $208,000, two-thirds of that on Murphy’s side.

Murphy’s money in August and September included $256,000 from individuals and $222,000 from political action committees. Miller’s included $219,000 from individuals and $80,000 from PACs.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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