News & Election Videos

August 25, 2008

Must be the money

DENVER – Your Scorecard authors are at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week, tracking down some of the leading candidates for Congress who are participating in the festivities.

One question on my mind was why these challengers chose to attend the convention instead of campaigning in their home districts with just over two months until the November elections.

The Scorecard posed the question to one of the more prominent Congressional challengers in attendance – former Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez, who is mounting a serious challenge to Rep. Lincoln Diaz Balart (R-Fla.).

Martinez said that, as a Florida superdelegate, he felt he had a responsibility to attend. But he also said there was another important hidden benefit to his attendance: fundraising. Martinez said he will be meeting many prominent Democratic donors who can help finance his campaign.

“This is a good place to raise money. This is where you get introduced to a lot of money people. This is where you get everybody,” Martinez told Politico at the Florida delegation’s breakfast.

Martinez has already been one of the most successful Democratic fundraisers, banking about $1.1 million in his campaign account this month. He has raised $1.3 million since entering the race in January. .

Meanwhile, Martinez won’t have to worry that his opponent will get some extra campaigning back home in South Florida while he’s away. Diaz-Balart will also be in Denver as part of the Republican war room, housed in the Pepsi Center.

Martinez offered to challenge Diaz-Balart to a debate here in Denver – an unlikely proposition. Diaz-Balart recently agreed to debate Martinez on October 8 – the first scheduled debate between the two candidates.