Wyman Duggan, the Republican nominee in Jacksonville’s House District 15, is back on the air this week for the first time since the primary.
Paid for by the Republican Party of Florida, the 15-second spot is evidence that the GOP is engaged to keep outgoing Jay Fant‘s seat.
The ad introduces a new endorsement: Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams joins Duggan’s political patron, Mayor Lenny Curry, in backing his bid.
The spot hits some biographical points, including Duggan’s service as a U.S. Marine, before moving on to issues, such as “priority funding for public school students” and “more resources to fight crime.”
Duggan’s Democratic opponent Tracye Polson, in an irony that illustrates the nature of this swing district, has been endorsed by the local Fraternal Order of Police. In that context, Williams’ endorsement may prove useful as counterprogramming.
This race in a district with a 1,000 vote Democratic plurality is on a razor’s edge, according to recent polling commissioned by the Polson camp.
An internal poll from SEA Polling and Strategic Design showed Duggan up 2 points (41-39) in what Democrats see as a swing district.
The resource battle is worth watching down the stretch, and right now it’s favorable to the Democrat: Duggan has less than $23,000 on hand after a bitter primary battle, putting him well behind Polson’s $116,000-plus.
That said, the RPOF spend suggests that the resource disparity could fade soon into the rearview mirror.
The district did go for Donald Trump two years ago, though Democrats haven’t fielded a candidate in HD 15 since it was redrawn ahead of the 2012 elections, so its lean in down-ballot races hasn’t been tested.