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Wengay Newton gets a slapdown as supporters flock to Democratic opponent Vito Shelley.

Tampa Bay

Wengay Newton fundraiser set for Jan. 6 in St. Pete

St. Petersburg Democratic Rep. Wengay Newton is holding a fundraiser barbecue to kick off his HD 70 re-election campaign on Jan. 6.

“I’m running for re-election to the Florida House because I want to continue being a champion on issues of importance for the people in district 70,” he said in a campaign email. “Real leadership is about self-sacrifice, commitment and truly caring about people. As a Statesman, I believe in people over the politicians.”

Newton was first elected to the Pinellas County-based seat in 2016. The former St. Petersburg City Council member is facing primary challenger Vito Sheeley and said he hopes his backers will “consider supporting my campaign early.”

The event is set for 1 p.m. on Jan. 6 at Dell Holmes Park, 2800 22nd Street South, and will be hosted by Newton’s wife, Melissa Newton.

The fundraiser comes just a few days before the start of the 2018 Legislative Session, when lawmakers are forced to pause their fundraising efforts.

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Those who cannot attend are encouraged to visit Newton’s campaign website to pitch in on the re-election effort.

HD 70 is a Democratic stronghold and has a majority minority population. Newton replaced now-Sen. Darryl Rouson in the district after defeating his Republican opponent, Cori Fournier, with 76 percent of the vote on Election Day.

Through November, Newton had about $14,500 on hand in his campaign account, while Sheeley had about $1,900 in the bank.

The primary election is set for Aug. 28.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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