2018 CFO race Archives - Florida Politics

St. Pete Polls on CFO race: Jimmy Patronis, Jeremy Ring neck-and-neck

Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis remains in a dogfight with Democratic challenger Jeremy Ring, according to a final survey of the race conducted by St. Pete Polls for Florida Politics.

The race finds both candidates winning 47 percent of the vote, with Patronis leading by tenths of a percentage point among those surveyed. Another 4 percent remain undecided, showing the potential for the race to go either way.

But among those who already cast ballots in the race, Ring leads with 53 percent to Patronis’ 44 percent.

Among those still planning to turn out to vote, Patronis leads 55-34, making it vital the Republican turn out his supporters on Election Day.

Pollsters report a margin of error of just 1.8 percent.

The CFO race scored as the closest one surveyed by St. Pete Polls in the final weekend before Election Day.

Pollsters spoke to 3,088 voters on Nov. 3 and 4. About 68 percent of voters surveyed had already voted by the time they were interviewed.

The poll found that Patronis won over 79 percent of Republican voters, while Ring enjoys 76 percent support among Democrats.

Among the critical independent voters, Ring leads Patronis 48-42, with 10 percent of those voters still undecided heading into the general election.

Among male voters, 50 percent break for Patronis compared to 45 percent who support Ring. Conversely, 48 percent of female voters pick the Democrat while 45 percent go for the Republican.

Ring wins the black vote with 85 percent to Ring’s 7 percent. But Patronis wins all other racial demographics. The white vote goes to the incumbent 56-39, the Asian/Pacific Islander vote goes to Patronis 46-43, and the Hispanic vote breaks Republican 47-46.

Patronis leads among voters ages 18-29, taking 47 percent of the vote to Ring’s 45 percent. He also wins among Florida’s oldest voters. Among those older than age 70, Patronis leads 52-42.

But among age groups in between, Ring holds the lead. Voters ages 30-49 break to Ring 49-45, and those ages 50-69 go his way 48-46.

Jimmy Patronis

Jimmy Patronis outraises Jeremy Ring tenfold in early October

Current CFO Jimmy Patronis scored another fundraising win for the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5 with nearly $500,000 in receipts between his campaign and Treasure Florida political committee.

The Panama City Republican was appointed to the CFO job last year by Gov. Rick Scott and is the lone incumbent Cabinet member running for re-election in the fall.

He’s up against Democrat and former state Sen. Jeremy Ring, who raised about $41,000 between his two accounts during the weeklong reporting cycle.

Hard money accounted for $131,000 of Patronis’ $493,000 haul. That cash came in across 107 contributions with the average donor chipping in $1,223. The donor sheet included 28 contributions measuring in at $3,000, which is the maximum allowable campaign contribution for a statewide election.

The campaign dollars were paired with $362,000 in committee cash and included a $125,000 check from Florida Prosperity Fund, a political committee tied to business group Associated Industries of Florida, and $100,000 from Florida Jobs PAC, which is tied to the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber endorsed Patronis for a full term back in May.

The inflow was outstripped by spending, which has ramped up considerably during the sprint to Election Day. The weeklong reports showed a combined $775,000 in expenditures, including a $750,000 contribution to the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

FRSCC is the cash rich GOP affiliated committee chaired by incoming Senate President Bill Galvano that’s charged with supporting Republican state Senate candidates.

Patronis has raised nearly $6.4 million for his CFO bid — $2.18 million of it through his official campaign account and another $4.2 million through his political committee. As of Oct. 5, the two accounts had a combined $2.94 million in the bank.

Ring, for his part, tacked on about $26,000 in campaign cash and another $15,000 via his affiliated political committee, Florida Action Fund PC. His report showed 54 campaign contribs, including a quartet at the $3,000 level, with the average donor chipping in about $480.

The committee report listed one contribution: A $15,000 check from Florida Alliance for Better Government, a political committee chaired by Democratic political consultant Screven Watson.

Ring’s ledger also showed $214,000 in expenditures, including $75,000 to the Florida Democratic Party; $113,384 in payments to Counterpoint Messaging for digital ad buys; $8,500 to Johnson Campaigns for consulting work; as well as numerous smaller contributions.

To date, Ring has raised about $1.4 million between the two accounts, with $192,000 of that sum coming from the former Yahoo executive’s own checking account as a candidate loan. On Oct. 5, Ring had $177,000 at the ready.

Whether the new round of campaign finance reports will lead Patronis and ring to update their dueling websites dishing dirt on dubious donors remains to be seen. Still, despite the wide gulf in fundraising, numerous polls have show Ring leading Patronis in the most low-key statewide race of the 2018 cycle.

A recent survey by left-leaning Public Policy Polling finds 40 percent of voters supporting Ring, compared to 34 backing Patronis, with 26 percent of voters still undecided. The most recent round of polling from the Florida Chamber of Commerce showed the two men tied 38-38 percent among likely voters with 20 percent undecided.

Patronis and Ring will be the only names printed on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. A write-in candidate, Richard Dembinsky, is also vying for the seat.

PPP poll shows Jeremy Ring with 6-point lead on Jimmy Patronis

A new poll shows Democrat Chief Financial Officer candidate Jeremy Ring holding a 6-percent lead over Republican incumbent Jimmy Patronis.

The survey by Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling finds 40 percent of voters supporting Ring, compared to 34 backing Patronis, with 26 percent of voters still undecided.

More striking, the polling sample included a plurality of voters who supported Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Of those surveyed, 46 percent voted for Trump compared to 45 percent who voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton. The remaining 9 percent voted for another candidate in the race or did not vote.

While PPP advertises itself as a Democratic polling outfit, FiveThirtyEight gives the outlet decent marks. The poll aggregating site issued PPP a grade of “B” and says the pollsters historically call races correctly 80 percent of the time.

Patronis, appointed to his position by Gov. Rick Scott, stands as the only incumbent running for a Cabinet post this year. He’s raised $1.9 million in contributions to his campaign, compared to less than $400,000 raised by Ring.

In recent days, the candidates largely attacked one another.

Patronis last week launched a website attacking the criminal history of many Ring donors and highlighting a recent incident of a Ring consultant allegedly impersonating Patronis to access personal records.

Ring returned volley days later with a website attacking Patronis donors and alleging favoritism on the part of the CFO.

The new PPP survey included an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, with each party’s voters making up 41 percent of those surveyed.

As far as gender, women make up 53 percent of the sample, men the other 47 percent. In terms of race, 68 percent identified as white, 15 percent as African-American and 13 percent Hispanic or Latino. About 45 percent of voters fell between age 45 and 65, with 35 percent older than that and 20 percent between age 18 and 45.

The poll found a high level of energy among voters. A full 68 percent of voters said they were very excited to cast ballots and another 15 percent were somewhat excited, with another 15 percent not excited and 2 percent unsure.

blue wave

Blue wave? Democratic Cabinet nominees up in new Florida Chamber poll

A new poll from the Florida Chamber of Commerce brought good news for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, but the three other statewide candidates joining them on the November ballot are also in prime position to topple GOP hegemony.

In addition to the U.S. Senate Race and Governor’s, Floridians will be replacing term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi and term-limited Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam in the fall. Also on the ballot is sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis, who is running for a full term after being appointed to the seat by Gov. Rick Scott last year.

In the AG race Tampa Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw, also the state’s former insurance consumer advocate, leads Republican nominee Ashley Moody, a former prosecutor and circuit court judge, by 2 percentage points, 35-33 percent. Another 20 percent of voters said they were undecided, while 9 percent favor unaffiliated candidate Jeffrey Siskind of Wellington.

The Florida Chamber measure is one of the first post-primary polls of the AG race to show Shaw with a lead. Moody scored a double-digit win over Pensacola state Rep. Frank White and Shaw trounced Odessa attorney Ryan Torrens. A prior poll of the race, conducted by Public Policy Polling showed Moody with a 3-point edge, 44-41 percent, while a St. Pete Polls survey showed her up 46-44 percent.

Though Moody has raked in loads more money than Shaw, her expensive primary battle left her trailing Shaw in cash on hand, with about $600,000 on hand for Moody and $810,000 on hand for Shaw as of Sept. 21.

In the Ag Commissioner race, medical marijuana lobbyist Nikki Fried leads Lehigh Acres state Rep. Matt Caldwell by 5 percentage points, 42-37 percent. Fried easily won the three-way Democratic primary to succeed term-limited Republican Adam Putnam with 59 percent of the vote while Caldwell took a plurality of the vote in the four-way Republican contest.

Fried had about $175,000 on hand between her campaign and committee accounts on Sept. 21, putting her well behind Caldwell’s combined war chest of $920,000.

CFO Jimmy Patronis, the only incumbent Cabinet member on the ballot, fared better than his fellow Republican. The Chamber found him tied with former Margate state Sen. Jeremy Ring at 38 percent each with 20 percent of voters undecided. Write-in candidate Richard Dembinsky is also vying for the seat and could partially account for why the Chamber’s measure does not add up to 100.

The tie game in the CFO race comes despite Patronis having raised being one of the best-funded non-gubernatorial candidates on the ballot. His $5.4 million in overall fundraising and $3.3 million in on-hand cash trounces Ring’s numbers, which stood at $1.33 million raised and $473,000 banked as of Sept. 21.

Ring has been adamant that neither fundraising nor endorsements will decide the contest. The last Democrat to hold a spot on the Cabinet was Alex Sink, who served one term as CFO before vacating the seat for her unsuccessful bid to be Florida’s Governor in 2010.

The Chamber poll is the first measure of the Cabinet race in some time. A Chamber poll from June showed Patronis with a 9-point lead, 40-31 percent, while a slightly more recent measure from Public Policy Polling showed Ring with a 40-39 percent edge.

The Florida Chamber Poll was conducted Sept. 19 through Sept. 24 and received responses from 622 voters, 41.5 percent of whom were registered Democrats, while 40.5 percent were Republicans and 18 percent not belonging to one of the major parties.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

‘Reckless’ Jeremy Ring? Website dings CFO candidate for questionable donors

Embezzlement. Sexual harassment. Identity theft. Prostitution.

The crimes seem the type Florida’s chief financial officer might investigate, but a new website says Democrat Jeremy Ring turns to criminals guilty of these activities for support.

The new website RingsCriminalRing.com, launched by Republican Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ re-election campaign, highlights the rap sheets of Ring’s donors and staffers, including one who allegedly impersonated Patronis to steal personal information.

“Senator Jeremy Ring is risky and reckless,” said CFO Communications Director Katie Strickland. “His connections to criminals and scandalous donors yet again reveals his stunning lack of judgement. Florida can’t risk its finances on reckless Jeremy Ring.”

Some of the greatest (or worst) hits:

Jake Wagman: A Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation say Wagman, the owner of Shield Political Research, posed as Patronis to obtain personal information from a third party vendor in order to hack the incumbent’s driving records.

State prosecutors did charge Wagman because he wanted to use the information for political research, not to steal from Patronis, according to FLA News Online.

Donald Scattergood: The Placida man last October donated $100 to Ring’s campaign, but two years prior to that, ABC 7 WWSB reports he got picked up in a prostitution sting in Charlotte County. The Sheriff’s Office brought a charge of “solicitation of prostitution” after conducting an undercover operation.

Paul Wharton: A former pediatrics professor at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville, Wharton resigned his position in 2005 and pleaded guilty guilty to misappropriating state funds, according to the Gainesville Sun. Federal prosecutors say the faculty member embezzled grants for his personal use. He got fined $10,000 at the time in 2007. Last year, Paul Wharton Consulting donated $1,000 to the Ring-founded Florida Action Fund.

Peter Leach: This one brings in Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum too. Leach. Tallahassee Reports alleged Leach helped facilitate a plane trip for Gillum and pals, and the journey could violate ethics laws. :each has donated $3,000 to Ring.

Daniel Shooster: A former employee in a lawsuit accuses Shooster of running his workplace like a speakeasy. The complaint by Harlene Zweig says Shooster during business hours at Festival Flea Market would pop pills, smoke weed and sexually harass his female employees—then bribe sheriff’s deputies to look the other way. The Broward Palm Beach New Times chronicles the seedy details. Festival Flea Market donated $1,500 to the Florida Action Fund.

Rex Hardin: The Palm Beach County Commissioner in May got fined $1,300 for submitting incomplete campaign finance reports, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Last year, he chipped $20 in Ring’s campaign.

Wayne and Merlene Spath: The Broward County couple got dinged for excessive political gifts when they three a lavish graduation party for Sheriff Scott Israel, serving a huge pile of king crab to the event and giving out $15,000 worth of gifts to kids, according to Local 10 News.

Jim Stork: The Federal Election Commission fined the former Wilton Manors mayor for using his private business to promote his congressional campaign, according to the Miami Herald. He donated $3,000 to Ring’s campaign last year.

Yard signs: Florida Realtors announce November election endorsements

Florida Realtors PAC, the political arm of the state’s largest professional association, issued endorsements in statewide races and a bundle of legislative districts Wednesday.

The group released three waves of endorsements ahead of the Aug. 28 primary election. Now that the title cards are set, their list of preferred candidates received a few adjustments.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Ron DeSantis has been subbed in for the Florida Realtors’ primary season pick, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, at the top of the ticket. The GOP nominee to replace Putnam, state Rep. Matt Caldwell, has tagged in Sebring Sen. Denise Grimsley.

Sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis, the only incumbent Cabinet member, remains the Realtor-backed pick for the general election, as does Republican Attorney General nominee Ashley Moody, who defeated Pensacola state Rep. Frank White by double digits three weeks ago.

“As Realtors, we pride ourselves on our long-standing efforts to defend private property rights, promote community prosperity and preserve a professional climate that ensures the economic growth of Florida,” said Florida Realtors PAC chair Ann DeFries.

“Our continued success in these efforts involves elected officials who share these beliefs and will work with our 180,000-plus members to help Floridians and their communities thrive.”

Other than the CFO race, where Democratic challenger Jeremy Ring has trailed in both the polls and in fundraising, Florida’s statewide contests are shaping up to be competitive.

DeSantis currently trails Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum by a hair in most polls, while Nikki Fried and Sean Shaw, the Democratic nominees for Ag Commish and Attorney General, scored comfortable wins in the primary and have shown solid fundraising thus far.

Further down the ballot, the Republican nominees in the most competitive state Senate districts — Sen. Keith Perry in SD 8, former state Rep. Ed Hooper in SD 16, Sen. Dana Young in SD 18, Sen. Kelli Stargel in SD 22 and state Rep. Manny Diaz in SD 36 — all retained their endorsements from July.

Perry, Hooper, Young and Stargel each held a lead in over their Democratic challengers in public polls conducted this week by St. Pete Polls.

A full list of endorsed candidates is available on the Florida Realtors PAC website. The general election is Nov. 6.

Public employee union endorses Andrew Gillum, Nikki Fried

The nations largest public employee union has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) announced its endorsement Thursday, two days after Gillum defied every pre-election poll and came out on top in the five-way Democratic primary for Governor.

“Andrew Gillum understands the issues facing Florida’s working families because he comes from a working family, he understands his success is due to hard work and the support of public institutions, and, most importantly, he has continued standing with working families every step of the way,” said AFSCME executive director Jana Weaver.

AFSCME, which has more than more than 1.6 million working and retired members, said its membership held a statewide call after Tuesday’s primary to discuss the general election and decided that Gillum rather than Republican nominee Ron DeSantis would be the best pick for public employees in November.

“It is clear that for the dedicated public workers who never quit serving their communities that Andrew Gillum is the clear choice and we are going to work hard every day until November to bring it home. He doesn’t just talk the talk, Andrew Gillum knows how to deliver the change our state needs,” Weaver said.

“While Ron DeSantis is focused on his cable news headlines, Andrew Gillum has put together a real agenda to tackle our state’s income inequality, make a real investment in public education, protect our communities from senseless gun violence and expand healthcare access,” she concluded.

In the same announcement, AFSCME said it was also backing the Nikki Fried for Agriculture Commissioner. Fried was a late entry into Democratic primary for the statewide seat, but quickly surpassed her primary challengers in fundraising and earned 58 percent of the vote in the three-way race.

“Nikki Fried will put an end to the scandals and issues that have plagued a department central to the prosperity of our entire state,” Weaver said. “She will work with the dedicated state workers in the department to implement the goals Floridians have clearly stated they want while tackling the challenges, such as climate change, that threaten our future.”

With the addition of Gillum and Fried, AFSCME has backed every Democrat running statewide in 2018. Prior endorsements went out to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, who will face term-limited Gov. Rick Scott in the fall; Attorney General nominee Sean Shaw, who defeated Ryan Torrens in the primary and now faces former circuit court judge Ashley Moody; and Jeremy Ring, who is running for Chief Financial Officer against incumbent Republican Jimmy Patronis.

__

Updated Friday — Later Thursday night, the Committee on Political Education of the Florida AFL-CIO announced it had voted to endorse Gillum for Governor.

Florida AFL-CIO is the state federation of unions representing over one million union members, retirees, and their families in the state.

“For too long Florida’s working people have been left behind by corporate special interests in Tallahassee,” Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams said in a statement. “We need a Governor that will boldly fight for the issues that affect workers every day.”

Jimmy Patronis

Jimmy Patronis piles on campaign cash, as Jeremy Ring lags in CFO race

Sitting CFO Jimmy Patronis keeps adding boatloads of cash in his bid for a full term in the Cabinet post, while Margate Democrat and challenger Jeremy Ring appears to have flatlined.

Patronis, a Panama City Republican, raised another $70,805 in hard money for the reporting period of Aug. 11-22, while his political committee, Treasure Florida, showed $171,000 in new receipts. The combined haul of $241,805 brings his overall fundraising total precipitously close to the $5 million mark.

Ring – a former state senator, Yahoo! exec and tech entrepreneur – tacked on just $6,873 for his campaign fund while laying an egg in the new report for his political committee, Florida Action Fund PC. He has now raised about $1.55 million for his statewide run, including $167,000 in candidate loans.

Patronis’ campaign report shows eleven checks for the campaign max — $3,000 for statewide races — with those donors including PepsiCo, Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association, The Florida Concrete & Products Association, the Florida Medical Association, the Better Florida Fund Corp. political committee, Miramar Beach accountant Stephan Riggs, as well as three checks from Don and Carolyn Glisson of Ponte Vedra Beach and one of their companies.

Glisson, an insurance executive, formerly served on the board of Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort.

The Patronis campaign received 74 contributions in all during the 13-day stretch, with the average check clocking in at $956.82.

Miami law firm Genovese, Joblove & Battista topped the committee report with a $50,000 contribution, followed by another $25,000 from FMA, $15,000 from the Florida Phosphate Political Committee, $10,000 from Wal-Mart and $10,000 from beverage distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

Familiar names chipping in less than five figures include Visa, Cigna, Aetna and Keiser University Vice Chancellor Belinda Keiser, who is running in the special election for Senate District 25.

Combined, Patronis’ two accounts spent $31,272 during the reporting period, with about a third of that cash heading to Paige Davis for consulting work. Strategic Digital Consulting picked up $5,000 for, as its name implies, digital consulting, while the rest of the cash covered staffers, travel reimbursements and various fees.

As of midnight Aug. 23, Patronis had more than $4.25 million in the bank between the two funds.

Ring’s report had much less to parse.

Half his haul came in via a $3,000 check from the Florida Carpenters Regional Council PAC Fund, while Pennsylvania attorney Tom Donnelly kicked in another $1,500. The remaining 13 contributions measured in a $500 or less.

Expenditures totaled a little over $20,000, and half of that went out the door via a $10,000 contribution to the Florida Democratic Party. Consulting contracts, travel and staff costs ate up the rest.

Ring ended the reporting period with a combined war chest of a little over $447,000.

Patronis and Ring are the only two major party candidates running for CFO. Patronis has been in the job since last year, when Gov. Rick Scott appointed him to serve out the remainder of the second term won by former CFO Jeff Atwater in 2014. Atwater left office early to become chief financial officer for Florida Atlantic University.

Patronis and Ring will go head-to head in the Nov. 6 general election.

Risky business: Jimmy Patronis hits Jeremy Ring over past ‘flops and failures’

CFO Jimmy Patronis’ campaign attacked Democratic challenger Jeremy Ring Tuesday over a trio of businesses that have failed with him at the helm.

The first of the so-called flops is one Ring, a former State Senator and Yahoo exec, readily admits. Shortly after leaving Yahoo in 2001, Ring launched digital tech company Convizion, and it failed when the internet bubble burst, losing millions of dollars in investor money.

The other two, Strategic Baseball Ventures and Ring Entertainment Group, were startups run by Ring in the early 2000s that both shut down a few years after they launched.

The Patronis campaign said that bumpy background provided an “alarming window” into how he would handle the official duties of the Cabinet job, which include heading up the state’s accounting, auditing, and payroll services, among other responsibilities.

“Jeremy Ring’s flops and failures with Florida businesses make him the wrong choice for Florida’s finances,” said campaign communications director Katie Strickland. “Ring talks up his experience at Yahoo, but his business record in Florida tells a different story, with multiple business ventures flopping or failing just years after Ring started them or took control.

“Ring even admitted in ‘no uncertain terms’ to his multimillion-dollar digital venture ‘being a failure’ when speaking to a group in 2008. Risky Ring is wrong for Florida’s finances,” she continued.

According to the Florida Division of Corporations, Ring does have some businesses that are still in operation — Creek Equity Partners, Park Spring Holdings, YPublish and Students United with Parents and Educators to Resolve Bullying.

Patronis’ attack comes a month after Ring hit the Panama City Republican for posing allegedly racist questions during a clemency hearing, a charge Patronis’ campaign has called baseless.

The two are the only major party candidates vying for the Cabinet position.

As of July 27, Patronis held a clear lead in the money race with nearly $4.5 million raised and about $3.9 million on hand between his campaign account and political committee, Treasure Florida. Ring has raised about $1.2 million, including in $150,000 candidate loans, and has $458,000 in the bank between his two accounts.

The pair will go head-to-head in the Nov. 6 general election.

Jimmy Patronis

Jimmy Patronis cracks $4 million raised for CFO bid, says he’s not taking anything for granted

Another week, another milestone for CFO Jimmy Patronis fundraising operation.

The Panama City Republican tacked on another $220,000 in contributions for his campaign and Treasure Florida political committee in a week, pushing him past the $4 million mark in total fundraising. Those fundraising numbers — both the new ones and the overall tally — outshine Patronis’ top rival, former Margate Democratic Sen. Jeremy Ring, by leaps and bounds.

Ring, a former Yahoo! executive, raised just $3,029 for the June 30 through July 6 reporting period. Since entering the race in May 2017, he’s raised just over $1 million between his campaign and Florida Action Fund political committee.

His $440,000 on hand, which includes $150,000 in candidate loans, is dwarfed by Patronis’ $3.45 million war chest, and the incumbent’s campaign didn’t waste the opportunity to gloat, especially in the wake of what it sees as an unfair attack on Patronis for allegedly racist comments during a clemency hearing in June.

“While our opponent has been busy name-calling and attacking in an attempt to distract from us leaving him in the dust, the CFO has continued to circle the state each and every week, meeting with voters and working hard to raise more money,” campaign manager Paige Davis said in an email. “Team Jimmy is thrilled to celebrate today’s $4 million milestone, which gives us an impressive lead over our mudslinging opponent Jeremy Ring. We currently have EIGHT TIMES as much cash on hand compared to Ring!”

While Patronis is the best-capitalized Cabinet candidate — he’s outpacing seven-figure self-funders Frank White in the Attorney General race and Baxter Troutman in the Ag Commissioner contest — but Ring isn’t completely down and out.

The most recent poll of the statewide race showed Ring with a 5-point lead over Patronis among general election voters. A prior poll from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Patronis, showed the incumbent with a near double-digit lead, however, and the Patronis campaign on Wednesday pointed to a variety of local Chamber straw polls that favored him by a 3-to-1 margin.

But for all the ribbing, the Patronis campaign isn’t taking the challenge lightly.

“In light of all the recent success, we know this will continue to be an uphill battle and take nothing for granted,” Davis wrote.

The general election is Nov. 6.

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