By Tom Tillison
The rich get richer.
Legendary college football coach Lou Holtz has come off the sidelines in the race to replace Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate.
Holtz is the featured speaker at a fundraiser next month for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis in support of his bid for the seat, according to the Orlando Political Observer.
DeSantis already has a substantial lead in money over competitors U.S. Rep. David Jolly, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Orlando defense contractor Todd Wilcox.
Here is a recent snapshot of the race, financially speaking, from the Miami Herald:
RON DESANTIS (R)
CASH ON HAND: $2.5 MILLION
DeSantis reported raising $772,000 in the fourth quarter and said he had about $2.5 million in the bank, as of Dec. 31. That war chest is almost six times more than that of Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who trails the Republican field.
TODD WILCOX (R)
CASH ON HAND: $873,656
Wilcox, a defense contractor from Orlando, raised $324,641 in the last quarter — topping $1 million for the year.
And he has nearly $900,000 in the bank, more than any Republican candidate except DeSantis.
DAVID JOLLY (R)
CASH ON HAND: $507,000
Jolly’s campaign raised $112,000 in the final quarter of 2015, also topping $1 million for the cycle. Shortly after the news broke, the DeSantis campaign released a statement drawing attention to the numbers, which Jolly released over the weekend when they might garner less attention.
CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA (R)
CASH ON HAND: $431,000
Lopez-Cantera reported raising $318,000 in the last three months of 2015 and said he had $431,000 in cash on hand, heading into this year.
Wealthy Manatee County home builder Carlos Beruff is also rumored to be considering a run, according to Florida Politics. Beruff will likely self-fund, which could radically change the dynamics of the race.