David Yates Oct. 2, 2014, 11:51am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) – For the last several months, the polls have shown no clear standout in the Florida governor’s race as the candidates continue to raise and spend millions of dollars.

However, the latest survey has the Democratic nominee, Charlie Crist, with a six-point lead over Gov. Rick Scott, with likely Florida voters favoring him by a 46 to 40 percent margin, according to SurveyUSA poll released Wednesday.

Toward the end of August, Crist had raked in more than $23 million in campaign contributions, with a sizeable chunk of his donations coming from lawyers and unions, campaign finance records show.

Large donations from those groups continued in the month of September.

However, Crist’s largest donations came from the Democratic Governors Association on Sept. 15, with two donations totaling $1.5 million, campaign finance records show.

The once-Republican governor and former attorney general also benefited greatly from unions.

On Sept. 19 the American Federation of Teachers donated $250,000 to Crist’s PAC, Charlie Crist for Florida. Almost two weeks earlier, on Sept. 8 the Florida Education Association Advocacy Fund also donated $250,000.

On Sept. 13 the Laborers’ Political League Education Fund contributed $100,000. IBEW PAC also pumped $100,000 into Crist’s coffers on Sept. 26.

Accounting for hundreds of thousands in contributions, recent large donations from lawyers and law firms in the month of September include:

-A $50,000 donation from Palm Harbor attorney Francoise Haasch on Sept. 29;

-A $20,000 donation from the Tallahassee firm Barrett, Fasig & Brooks on Sept. 26;

-A $20,000 donation from Coral Gables attorney Alex Alvarez on Sept. 25;

-A $15,000 donation from Jacksonville attorney Howard Coker on Sept. 24;

-Two donations of $50,000 from Miami attorney Robert Rubenstein on Sept. 23;

-A $20,000 donation from Pensacola attorney Troy Rafferty on Sept. 20;

-A $37,000 donation from the Orlando law firm Diez-Arguelles & Tejedor on Sept. 17;

-A $25,000 donation from the Orlando law firm Newsome Milton on Sept. 17;

-A $20,000 donation from Tampa attorney Dale Swope on Sept. 17;

-A $25,000 donation from the West Palm Beach law firm Clark Fountain La Vista Prather Keen & Littky-Rubin on Sept. 16;

-A $25,000 donation from Orlando attorney John Morgan on Sept. 15;

-A $25,000 donation from the Haggard Law Firm in Coral Gables on Sept. 13;

-Mark Nation, a Winter Springs attorney, donated a total of $70,000 in September;

-A $27,500 donation from Miama attorney John Leighton on Sept. 11;

-Two donations of $25,000 from H. Bates, an Orlando attorney, on Sept. 10;

-A $20,000 donation from Windermere attorney Gregorio Francis on Sept. 10;

-A $45,000 donation from the Jacksonville law firm Edwards & Ragatz on Sept. 5; and

-A $25,000 donation from the Yerrid Law Firm in Tampa on Sept. 4.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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