Gainesville physician Kayser Enneking, a Democrat, started hitting TV Friday with a new ad backing up her campaign to oust incumbent Republican Sen. Keith Perry in Senate District 8.
The 30-second spot, titled “Caring For North Central Florida,” features footage of the anesthesiologist in operating rooms, waiting rooms and living rooms while pitching her as a candidate who can bring health care solutions to Tallahassee. If elected, the campaign notes, Enneking would be the only medical doctor serving in the state Senate.
“Health care in Florida is in crisis. Politicians had years to fix this, but nothing’s gotten better. It’s time to try something different. Meet Dr. Kayser Enneking. Doctor at UF, wife and mother, avid runner and biker,” the ad narrator says.
Enneking, outfitted in scrubs, takes over after the intro.
“I never thought I would get into politics. I’ve spent my whole life taking care of people,” Enneking says. “I’ve decided to run for the state Senate because we need someone who can fix our health care system, defend our environment and protect our public schools.”
Enneking’s campaign said the TV ad will begin airing in the Gainesville area on Friday. Federal Communications Commission filings show the initial media buys measured in at $2,920 and will keep the ad on NBC affiliate WNBW and CBS affiliate WGFL through Aug. 19.
Enneking faces fellow Gainesville Democrat Olysha Magruder in the Aug. 28 primary election, though she’s several steps ahead when it comes to fundraising and endorsements.
As of July 27, Enneking’s campaign account and political committee, Florida Knows Excellence, had brought in more than $450,000 and had $333,500 at the ready. In addition to endorsements from local politicians and groups such as Equality Florida and the AFL-CIO, Enneking’s campaign was recently singled out for some backup from progressive advocacy group For Our Future Florida.
Magruder, meanwhile, has brought in $34,300 for her bid and has about $8,500 banked less than three weeks out from the primary election. Perry, who doesn’t face a primary challenger, has raised more than $671,000 for his re-election efforts and had $505,700 on hand as of Aug. 3.
SD 8 covers all of Alachua and Putnam counties as well as the northern half of Marion County. It is one of a handful of districts that became more favorable to Democrats after the Senate map was redrawn ahead of the 2016 elections.
Despite Democrats holding an 8-point lead in voter registrations in the redrawn district, Perry defeated former FDP chair and state Sen. Rod Smith by 5 points two years ago. The seat was also carried by President Donald Trump, though only by 2 tenths of a point.
Enneking’s ad is below.