What is Bernie Sanders' endorsement worth?
For Florida congressional candidate Tim Canova, the answer so far is more than half-a-million bucks.
Sanders’ campaign told the Miami Herald on Wednesday that it has helped raise more than $637,000 since May 22, when the Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate began asking supporters to chip in for Canova.
Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, is trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, a Sanders foe. Sanders accused her of bias toward Hillary Clinton when Wasserman Schultz ran the Democratic National Committee. Leaked internal emails from the DNC showed late last month that Wasserman Schultz’s staff favored Clinton, though Sanders’ camp acknowledged that preference wasn’t to blame for his loss to Clinton. Still, the email embarrassment cost Wasserman Schultz her high-profile role — and forced her to step up campaigning after 24 years of running unopposed.
His endorsement of Canova was Sanders’ first foray into congressional races this election cycle. Team Sanders sent supporters its latest Canova fundraising pitch Tuesday, on the same day Clinton traveled to Davie to endorse Wasserman Schultz. Since Tuesday alone, just under $300,000 has come in, according to a Sanders spokesman.
In all, the Canova contributions amount to $637,924.10 and came from 40,948 donations, each averaging $16.
Over the past few weeks, handwritten postcards from all over the country have poured into the Herald's editorial board from supporters urging for a Canova endorsement. Canova himself told the Herald he knew nothing about the postcard-writing campaign; one of Wasserman Schultz’s chief criticisms of Canova is that he’s an outsider whose support lies mostly outside the Broward/Miami-Dade County district.