Tim Canova is close to raising $1 million in the last month for his bid to unseat Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the upstart has Bernie Sanders to thank for most of it.
The Florida Democrat is facing Schultz in a primary for the state’s 23rd Congressional District, and received a big boost earlier this month when Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders officially endorsed Canova and sent an email to his donors asking that they consider supporting Canova.
The Sanders supporter have responded in near-record numbers, pushing Canova toward $1 million in total donations since the email, the Daily Caller reported.
The donations reflect the typical Sanders base, with a total of 45,000 contributors giving an average of close to $18 each. Sanders has decried big-money interests and instead raised an unprecedented sum almost entirely from small donors, vowing not to align with the super PACs bankrolling his opponents.
— POLITICO (@politico) May 27, 2016
Tim Canova noted his historic fundraising haul in an email sent out this week.
“No House race challenger has ever accomplished a similar feat,” the campaign said in a statement. The fundraising “continues to be fueled by small donors who have given an average of roughly $18 over the past five months.”
“Meanwhile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues to solicit huge contributions from wealthy elites and corporations in exchange for votes and favors in Washington,” said the campaign.
Much of the support for Canova comes from those opposed to Schultz. A major backer for Hillary Clinton in 2008, she has been accused of favoring Clinton in her position as DNC chair. Schultz has come under some of the strongest attacks from Bernie Sanders, but other members of the Democratic Party are now calling for her ouster.
The support from Bernie Sanders has been a huge boost to Tim Canova’s campaign, the candidate noted. He said they are approaching $2 million in total donations, with the bulk of it coming after the May endorsement by Sanders.
“Well, I’ll say we raised about $1 million in the first four months. By the time Bernie endorsed us, we were probably up at about $1.2, $1.3 million,” he told Politico. “Since then we got a big kick of several hundred thousand, and that puts us closing in on $2 million now.”
Canova’s fundraising haul could also hint at the power Sanders may hold after his primary battle is over. Sanders has shown an ability to harness the power of his grassroots movement, and could become one of the most important Democrats going forward, pushing the party further to the left.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) May 22, 2016
Tim Canova received another major boost on Friday, with the progressive super PAC Democracy for America officially endorsing him. The organization noted Canova’s fight for income equality and hit on Wasserman Schultz’s perceived entanglement with special interests, namely the payday lending industry.
“DFA members are backing Tim Canova in this race for Congress, not for who he supports or who supports him, but because he has spent his life challenging the power of Wall Street banks, multinational corporations, and the systemic political corruption that keeps them profitable at the expense of everyone else,” DFA Chairman Jim Dean said in a statement (via The Hill).
“Simply put,” he continued, “if Democrats are going to be the party that confronts the wealthy and powerful who dominate our political process and enable growing income inequality, we need political revolutionaries like Tim Canova in the U.S. Congress.”
Tim Canova thanked Democracy for America for the endorsement, noting that the organization’s members in his district have offered overwhelming support. He also criticized Debbie Wasserman Schultz for “standing by Republicans and their corporate interests.”
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]