2018 legislative races Archives - Page 6 of 42 - Florida Politics

Mike Alvarez pitches school funding bill in closing days of HD 62 primary

Tampa Democrat Mike Alvarez said Wednesday that if he’s elected to House District 62, he has a plan to bring much-needed construction and maintenance funding to public schools.

The proposed plan, titled the “Make Schools Student Ready Act,” would boost the funding schools receive from the Public Education Capital Outlay Trust Fund, or PECO, which is used for maintaining, restoring and repairing existing state education facilities.

The current year PECO projects plan allocates $50 million for maintenance and repair projects in K-12 schools statewide. According to Alvarez, that’s simply not enough, especially considering Hillsborough County alone has a $1 billion maintenance backlog.

Some of the problems on the list aren’t just cosmetic. As reported this month by the Tampa Bay Times, some Hillsborough County schools have high levels of lead in the water students drink.

“I talk to voters every day about their needs and how I can work for them in Tallahassee. Our state needs drastic changes in many areas, but my number one priority is to give our children a space they can learn that doesn’t threaten their health,” Alvarez said in a news release. “Parents shouldn’t have to worry about heat waves and lead poisoning when they send their kids to school.”

Alvarez said public schools need more capital funding to keep students in a healthy learning environment — things like lead and asbestos testing as well as air conditioning repair and upkeep all fall under the maintenance budget.

In an interview with Florida Politics, Alvarez said recent funding levels for PECO projects were “out of whack” considering lawmakers set aside more than $145 million to fund capital projects at charter schools this year.

PECO funding for public schools also used to be much higher. In a recent post on the Hillsborough County Schools website, the district said it received a combined total of $164 million in PECO funds from 2002 to 2009 but received only $19 million in such funding from 2009 to 2016.

“The shortsighted decision to cut these funds has had a huge impact on Hillsborough families. It’s time to fix what Tallahassee Republicans broke,” Alvarez said.

Alvarez added that low funding for school maintenance forces school districts to make tough decisions about which maintenance problems to handle and, in the case of repairs that can’t wait, to figure out where else in the budget they can pull money from to cover the repair costs.

“When you delay routine maintenance, it’s going to come back to bite you,” he said.

Alvarez, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who now works in the construction industry, is one of three Democratic candidates running for HD 62. He faces School Board member Susan Valdes and medical marijuana activist Chris Cano in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary.

The district is one of five state legislative seats, including three in the Tampa Bay area, to have its primary election locked down by a write-in candidate.

HD 62 covers part of Hillsborough County and is a Democratic stronghold currently represented by House Minority Leader Janet Cruz, who is term-limited in the House and running for state Senate.

Wengay Newton holding fundraiser ahead of HD 70 primary showdown

Democratic state Rep. Wengay “Newt” Newton will kick off his final week on the campaign trail with a re-election fundraiser Wednesday night in St. Petersburg.

The reception, hosted by former St. Petersburg City Councilwoman Leslie Curran, is scheduled to run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Collectors Exchange Art Gallery, 2239 Central Ave.

Those looking to attend the event can RSVP by calling 727-619-6398 or by sending an email to the campaign via newt@newthd70.com.

Newton was elected to House District 70 in 2016 after serving two terms on the St. Petersburg City Council, succeeding now-Sen. Darryl Rouson. After receiving 62 percent of the vote in a three-way Democratic primary for the seat, he cruised past a Republican challenger with 76 percent of the vote on Election Day.

In his re-election battle, he is again facing two other Democrats in the primary.

Democrat Vito Sheeley filed to challenge Newton in July 2017 and Keisha Bell made it a three-way primary race when she filed her paperwork at the beginning of February. Since only Democrats qualified for the ballot, all HD 70 voters regardless of party affiliation will be able to vote in the primary election.

Newton currently leads the pack in fundraising with more than $67,000 raised and $18,790 remaining in his campaign account. Sheely, who was recently fined for sloppy financial reporting, has raised $23,708 and has $5,839 left over, while Bell has raised $12,062 and had $690 banked as of Aug. 10.

State elections law bars candidates from raising money within five days of a primary or general election, so the books will close for all three candidates at midnight on Aug. 23.

HD 70 is a Democratic stronghold covering pieces of Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties including chunks of St. Pete and Sarasota as well as the communities of Memphis, Samoset and Ruskin.

The fundraiser is below.

Jake Raburn endorses Sean McCoy as HD 57 successor

Exiting state Rep. Jake Raburn weighed into the House District 57 Republican primary battle brought about by his early retirement, offering his endorsement to businessman and U.S. Army veteran Sean McCoy.

“Sean’s record of service to his country and his commitment to our conservative principles makes him the best choice to serve our community in Tallahassee,” Raburn said Tuesday.

“I know Sean will work tirelessly to fight for the conservative values we hold dear and protect our local agriculture industry to help grow our economy. With Sean McCoy in Tallahassee, District 57 will be in good hands,” he concluded.

The endorsement comes just over two months after the 33-year-old lawmaker announced that he would not seek a fourth and final term in the Hillsborough County district.

McCoy entered the race on the same day as Raburn’s announcement, with fellow Republican Mike Beltran following two days later.

“Representative Raburn has served our community with integrity and fought for the conservative principles we all hold dear,” McCoy said. “A leader in our agriculture industry, Representative Raburn’s service to this state helped grow our local economy and put Florida on a path to prosperity. I’m humbled to have his support and his confidence.”

Before Raburn’s endorsement, McCoy had already earned the backing of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Realtors. He also has earned an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, while Beltran earned the lesser grade of “AQ” from the group.

Beltran currently leads the money race with $36,412 in fundraising and another $100,000 in candidate loans. He had $68,824 at the ready on Aug. 10. McCoy, through the same date, has raised $64,214 and chipped in $2,000 of his own money. He had $28,339 banked on Aug. 10.

The winner of the Aug. 28 primary election will almost assuredly succeed Raburn, however, they’ll still be on the November ballot alongside Valrico Democrat Debbie Katt.

HD 57 covers part of southeastern Hillsborough County and leans Republican. The GOP has a 7-point lead in voter registrations within the district, and Raburn had no trouble holding the seat for three terms. In 2012, his only campaign where he faced a Democratic challenger, Raburn cruised to a 17-point victory.

Florida Medical Association recommends Dianne Hart for HD 61

The political arm of the Florida Medical Association on Monday endorsed Dianne Hart in the Democratic primary for Tampa-based House District 61.

“The FMA PAC is proud to endorse Dianne Hart for Florida House,” said FMA PAC president Mike Patete. “Ms. Hart has worked hard in her community for many years through her work with the East Tampa Business and Civic Association and we know she will be a strong voice and advocate for her constituents on important health care issues.”

The endorsement comes in the closing days of the four-way Democratic primary to succeed exiting Democratic Rep. Sean Shaw, who is running for Attorney General.

“I am proud to have the endorsement of the Florida Medical Association. I look forward to working with the physicians and the Association on much needed opioid legislation and the health care issues that Floridians are facing across our state,” Hart said.

Hart, who lost the 2016 Democratic primary to Shaw by just 101 votes, faces Sharon Carter, Norman Harris and Karen Skyers in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary.

Skyers, a former lobbyist and legislative aide to former state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, has raised the most money in the race with about $74,000 in receipts as of Aug. 10. Hart, who has raised around $50,000 including $15,000 in candidate loans, holds the cash lead with $31,400 banked compared to about $10,000 for Skyers.

HD 61 covers downtown Tampa, Ybor City, and Seminole Heights. Democrats hold an overwhelming advantage at the polls. It is one of five state legislative districts this cycle that had its primary locked down by a write-in candidate.

Olysha Magruder A-OK with ‘dark money’ support in SD 8 Democratic primary

An Ocala non-profit organization has made up to $100,000 in illegal expenditures advocating for Olysha Magruder in the Democratic primary for Senate District 8, but the candidate has brushed off concerns about the spending by saying it’s “traditional campaign activity” and accusing supporters of her opponent of “slandering” her character.

The Liberation Ocala African American Council has spent $25,000 on TV ad buys advocating for Magruder in the closing days of the primary contest between her and fellow Democrat Kayser Enneking and has sent out at least five rounds of direct mail ads to district voters. The head of that corporation, Whitfield Jenkins, would not comment on the cost of the SD 8 mailers but said that its past mail campaigns have cost “around $13,000 each.”

In total, that spending would amount to three or four times the amount of money spent by Magruder since she entered the SD 8 race more than a year ago.

The problem? Liberation Ocala African American Council is not registered as a political committee or an electioneering communications organization, and the Florida Division of Elections has said the spending is in violation of elections law.

Jenkins made several claims of questionable legitimacy in an interview with Florida Politics regarding the ad spending.

The former Marion County NAACP chair offered no response to the elections complaint filed against his non-profit, claiming that he had filed the necessary paperwork to create a political committee on Aug. 7. There is no record of that paperwork at the Florida Division of Elections, and the disclosure section of every ad released by the group thus far has attributed the ads to the corporation, not a political committee.

Sarah Revell, communications director for the Florida Department of State, confirmed to Florida Politics on Monday afternoon that no paperwork had been filed for the committee.

Jenkins also said that his organization was supporting Magruder due to Enneking not showing up at a July 11 candidate forum, though Enneking and Magruder were both present at an event held that day. He also claimed that his organization was supporting Magruder at the request of “30 persons” associated with “Florida black legislators,” though he refused to list which lawmakers were among them.

Florida Politics reached out to the Florida Conference of Black State Legislators, but did not receive a response.

A statement from Orlando Democratic Rep. Bruce Antone‘s district secretary, Carolyn Austin, sent to Florida Politics refutes Jenkins’ claims. She said Antone “is unaware of any Florida Black Legislator that is working with or has requested the assistance of the Ocala African American organization.”

Antone, who has represented House District 46 since 2012, is one of 27 black members of the Florida Legislature and is affiliated with Florida Conference of Black State Legislators.

When Jenkins was asked what his connection was to Washington DC consultant Jamie Andrus, he said: “I don’t have to answer.” When pressed, Jenkins said he can’t recall ever meeting Andrus, though according to FCC filings for the TV ads, she signed for the media buys on his behalf on Aug. 14.

Andrus is also involved with the political committee Moms Speak Out, which is one of many groups behind ads slamming Fort Lauderdale Democratic Sen. Gary Farmer in the Senate District 34 Democratic primary. Other negative ad spending in the SD 34 primary has been traced back to the Republican-leaning Florida Chamber of Commerce by Sun Sentinel reporter Dan Sweeney.

Magruder’s campaign was just as dodgy about the ad spending. A campaign representative walked a fine line of accepting the message promoted in the ads while not expressly endorsing the spending itself. Magruder did the same in a campaign press release posted to Facebook on Sunday.

When asked if Magruder approved of the spending, a representative said, “We shouldn’t have to denounce the truthful information in the ads.” When asked if Magruder, in general, approved of groups that do not disclose their donors paying political ads, the representative gave the same response, word-for-word.

Some of the claims in the ads, however, are not truthful. At least not fully.

One claim made in a mailer: “The Democratic Party establishment has already spent over $107,000 on Kayser Enneking, paying for her staff and campaign headquarters. When the establishment rigs our primaries, the people lose.”

It is true that the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, chaired by Jacksonville Sen. Audrey Gibson, has given substantial “in-kind” support to Enneking’s campaign. Left out of the allegation, however, is that Enneking’s affiliated political committee, Florida Knows Excellence, has itself given substantially to the FDLCC.

When presented with that information, Magruder’s campaign responded: “We shouldn’t have to denounce the truthful information in the ads.”

Enneking’s campaign, via elections attorney Mark Herron, has sent cease and desist letters to the TV stations airing the ads, citing “their duty to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.”

“The advertisement is deceptive because its sponsor – Liberation Ocala African America Council, Inc. – is deceiving the public of the source of its funds and who is actually underwriting its activities. Because the advertisement is flying under ‘false colors,’ you can and you should pull it from the airwaves,” the letter states.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Janet Cruz rescinds endorsement of Susan Valdes in HD 62 primary

House Minority Leader Janet Cruz announced Monday that she was yanking her endorsement of School Board member Susan Valdes.

Valdes is running in the Democratic primary to decide who will succeed Cruz, the outgoing House Democratic Leader, in House District 62.

“At a time when we’re learning Hillsborough schools have (broken) ACs, leaky roofs and lead in their pipes, I must put the needs of our students, parents and teachers first. I stand with candidates who, like me, put our public schools first over for-profit education corps,” Cruz wrote on Twitter.

“While Susan Valdes has been a friend for 20 years, I can’t stand by her decision to accept support from the voucher industry,” she concluded.

The statement comes shortly after a pro-Valdes mailer paid for by a charter-backed electioneering communications organization (ECO), called Florida Federation for Children, started hitting HD 62 mailboxes.

Here’s the rub: Valdes said early on in her campaign for state House that she would not accept any funding from the charter school industry.

Unlike independent expenditures, ECO expenditures may be coordinated with candidates, so it is possible that Valdes knowingly accepted the support.

Valdes’ chief Democratic primary opponent seized on Cruz’s tweet, saying Valdes lied to voters when she pledged not to accept charter school funding.

“Susan Valdes made one promise to voters this year. She said she wouldn’t accept support from for-profit education corporations and Trump Republicans. Like so many other times in the past, she lied,” Mike Alvarez said.

“These Republican billionaires have been destroying public education all over America. Now they’re colluding with Susan Valdes to trick Democrats. I join teachers, working families, and Democrats all over Hillsborough in thanking Janet Cruz for pulling her endorsement and condemning Susan’s latest lies.

“Hillsborough families deserve an honest representative who represents our Democratic values — Susan Valdes has broken our trust for the last time.

“This lie, and the resulting loss of an endorsement, is just the latest in a series of gaffes from Valdes. Her campaign has lurched from one controversy to the next,” Alvarez said.

Cruz’s tweet came just hours after Alvarez landed the support of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

His campaign has also recently added the endorsement of Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who lambasted Valdes for a campaign mailer that included a picture of Valdes next to the congresswoman, suggesting Castor had endorsed her campaign.

Alvarez and Valdes are running alongside activist Chris Cano in the Democratic primary for HD 62, one of five state legislative seats, including three in the Tampa Bay area, to have its primary election locked down by a write-in candidate.

The winner of the Aug. 28 primary will face write-in Jose Vazquez in the general election. No write-in candidate has ever won elected office in Florida, at least in modern times.

Bob Buckhorn endorses Mike Alvarez in HD 62 Democratic primary

Tampa Democrat Mike Alvarez scored a last-minute endorsement from Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn in the race to succeed House Minority Leader Janet Cruz in Hillsborough County’s House District 62.

“There is only one candidate in this race that speaks to the heart and soul of this district and that is Mike Alvarez,” Buckhorn said. “He knows the community, has served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps, and is prepared to be our Representative in Tallahassee. He will be a credible and competent voice for West Tampa and Town and Country.”

The endorsement comes a week out from the primary election for HD 62, which will effectively decide Cruz’ replacement in the House — the winner of the primary race will still be on the November ballot, though their only competition will be write-in candidate Jose Vazquez. A write-in candidate has never won elected office in Florida.

Alvarez joined the U.S. Marine Corps after the 9/11 attacks and served three tours overseas before returning home to Tampa to work as the director of operations for family-owned business Westfall Roofing. Alvarez is also an active member of the West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Oakford Park Neighborhood Association, the Sierra Club, and the Hillsborough Democratic Party Hispanic Caucus, where he serves as secretary.

“Mayor Buckhorn has always been an advocate for our schools, our community, and our Democratic values,” Alvarez said. “I’m humbled to have his endorsement and I look forward to working with him to build on our successes.”

Buckhorn nod is the latest high-profile endorsement Alvarez has received in the state House race. He recently landed the backing of Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, and has also picked up support from the Florida Education Association, the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association and the Florida AFL-CIO.

Alvarez, the first-in candidate for the race, faces School Board member Susan Valdes and activist Chris Cano in the primary. Vazquez’ candidacy locked down the election to registered Democrats.

Through Aug. 10, Alvarez held a fundraising advantage with more than $70,000 raised, including $31,698 in loans, and about $7,800 in the bank. Valdes has raised $19,315 and has $3,830 banked, while Cano has brought in $4,163 and has $792 on hand.

Despite lagging in the money race, Valdes has been the beneficiary of significant outside spending by the Florida Federation for Children, a political committee funded by charter school companies. Valdes had promised early on in her campaign to not accept contributions from charter school companies.

Her campaign has been mired by controversy since she entered the race. Alongside Castor’s endorsement of Alvarez, she issued a scathing rebuke of the 14-year school board member for using a picture of Castor in a mailer sent out by her campaign, which she said some could misinterpret as an endorsement.

“Let me be clear, the candidate in this race who has my endorsement and support is Mike Alvarez. If you support public schools, if you share our Democratic values, and if you want honesty from your elected officials, vote for Mike Alvarez,” Castor said at the time.

Valdes kicked off her campaign with a resign-to-run letter of questionable legitimacy, and weeks later made more negative headlines after a video surfaced of her dodging a question about whether she would accept campaign contributions from charter schools.

In the wake of that video going semi-viral, Valdes’ campaign threatened to pull strings and have the man who recorded it fired from his job at the State Attorney’s office.

HD 62 covers part of Hillsborough County and is a Democratic stronghold.

The primary election is Aug. 28.

Berny Jacques adds $50K, Nick DiCeglie loans $40K in HD 66 Republican primary

The two Republican contenders to succeed term-limited Rep. Larry Ahern in House District 66 have already spent nearly $335,000 combined and show little sign of slowing down as the primary election approaches.

Seminole attorney Berny Jacques held on to his fundraising lead after bringing $50,660 between his campaign account and political committee, Protect Pinellas, during the Aug. 4 through Aug. 10 reporting period. Nearly all of that cash — $50,050 — was sent to Protect Pinellas from another committee, Conservatism Counts, which says on its website that its mission is to “promote the ideals and benefits of conservative and limited government.”

Spending for the week totaled $60,734 and included more than $35,000 in payments to Gainesville-based Data Targeting for several rounds of direct mailers. Another $22,000 went to Virginia-based Multi Media Strategies for media buys, while Tallahassee-based Evolution Media picked up $3,335 for media production work.

With the major windfall, Jacques has now raised $259,150 between his two accounts. After spending, the two accounts had a combined $48,110 banked on Aug. 10.

Belleair Bluffs businessman Nick DiCeglie posted just $1,525 in campaign contributions for the week, but he juiced his campaign with another $40,000 in candidate loans to cover his own spending spree, which clocked in at nearly $56,000.

That outflow included a $25,000 media buy through Tampa-based Spectrum Reach and nearly $25,000 more for direct mail campaigns through Tallahassee-based Election Management Solutions. Also on the report was a $3,000 payment to Pulpo Creative for media production, $1,500 to Political Capital for fundraising consulting and $1,555 to Elections Connections for telephone calls.

Through the end of the reporting period, DiCeglie had raised $142,056 in outside cash and kicked in $70,000 in loans for a to-date total of $212,056. He had $26,562 in the bank on Aug. 10.

According to a recent poll of the primary race, DiCeglie leads Jacques 44-30 percent among likely Republican primary voters with the remainder undecided. Among Republicans who said they had already voted, DiCeglie’s lead expanded to 51-34 percent, while those yet to vote preferred him by a 10-point margin with 32 percent undecided.

The winner of the Aug. 28 Republican primary will go up against schoolteacher Alex Heeren, who locked up the Democratic nomination without opposition. Heeren, for his part, added $760 to his campaign account, bringing his to-date total to $31,781 with $9,740 at the ready.

HD 66 is a coastal Pinellas seat that covers part of Clearwater and numerous other communities, including Belleair Bluffs, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores and Seminole.

The district has a Republican lean — Ahern has held the seat since it was redrawn in 2012, when he won re-election by 6 points. His next two re-election bids ended in double-digit wins, and President Donald Trump had similar success in 2016, when he carried the district 55-41.

Ray Blacklidge reels in $12K as HD 69 Republican primary looms

Madeira Beach attorney Ray Blacklidge posted another healthy round of campaign finance reports ahead of his head-to-head showdown with St. Petersburg attorney Jeremy Bailie in the Republican primary for Pinellas County’s House District 69.

The new reports, covering Aug. 4 through Aug. 10, show Blacklidge tacked on $2,200 in hard money and another $10,000 for his affiliated political committee, Friends of Ray Blacklidge, making for $215,500 raised thus far. Bailie, meanwhile, reported $1,600 in new money for an overall fundraising total of $78,240 at the end of the reporting period.

Blacklidge’s campaign report included a max check from the Committee of Florida Agents, a political committee that represents independent contractor insurance agents. The committee cash also came in from the insurance industry, with the Florida Insurance Council political committee and commercial insurance company FCCI Services chipping in $5,000 apiece.

Spending measured in at $20,408 between the two accounts, with the largest item on the ledger being a $12,000 contribution to Florida First Forever, a political committee that has been linked to other funds set up to run attack ads against candidates in state elections. Another $4,820 was spent on consulting services via Front Line Strategies, with most of the remaining spending paying for canvassing work.

At the end of the reporting period, Blacklidge had $70,056 at the ready between his two accounts.

Bailie’s new money came in across four checks, including $500 contributions from West Palm Beach-based White Rock Quarries, the Florida Bankers Association political committee and Resort Inns of America, which runs TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach.

Spending for the week came in at a light $1,828, with $1,010 paying for campaign staff and $815 paying for printing and mailing services through political consulting firm Strategic Image Management.

As it stands, Bailie has $32,160 in his campaign account.

Bailie and Blacklidge are competing to succeed Republican Rep. Kathleen Peters, who is leaving the state House before hitting term limits to run for the District 6 seat on the Pinellas County Commission.

A recent poll of the two-way primary found Blacklidge with a 48-23 percent lead over Bailie with 29 percent of likely Republican primary voters undecided two weeks out from the Aug. 28 Republican primary. The poll was conducted Aug. 13, just a few days after Bailie made negative headlines for swiping hand tags placed by Blacklidge canvassers.

The winner of the Bailie v. Blacklidge contest will move on to face Democratic nominee Jennifer Webb in the Nov. 6 general election.

Webb’s new finance report shows her maintaining a cash lead ahead of the general election race beginning in earnest. She tacked on $4,270 and spent just $200 for the week, bringing her overall fundraising total to $164,277 with just shy of $118,000 in the bank.

HD 69 covers part of southern Pinellas County including coastal communities from Redington Shores southward as well as a southwestern chunk of the mainland peninsula.

The district has a slim Republican advantage. The most recent bookclosing report from the Florida Division of Elections, released Aug. 10, shows registered Republicans make up 36 percent of the electorate compared to a 35 percent share for registered Democratic.

When Webb ran for the seat two years ago, she lost to Peters by 13 points on Election Day, though at the top of the ticket, Donald Trump only carried the seat by 3 points.

Rebekah Bydlak maintains cash lead in HD 1 Republican primary

Gonzalez Republican Rebekah Bydlak has been the fundraising leader in the race for House District 1 for months, and newly filed campaign finance reports show she’s maintaining that lead in the twilight ahead of the primary race.

Between Aug. 4 and Aug. 10, Bydlak added another $5,310 to her campaign account, bringing her overall fundraising total to $183,170 through one year on the campaign trail. That gives her a better than threefold fundraising advantage over her chief Republican primary opponent, former state Rep. Mike Hill, who raised just $350 for the week and has reeled in about $55,000 since entering the race in September 2017.

Bydlak’s haul included a quartet of $1,000 contributions, the maximum allowable for a state legislative race. Those donors included C.W. Roberts Contracting, insurance company Pacific Life, political committee Florida ACRE and car dealership group JM Family Enterprises.

Another 10 contributions, ranging from $25 to $500, rounded out the report.

Expenditures far outweighed contributions thanks to $15,000 in media buys through Virginia-based Multi Media Services to keep Bydlak’s ads on the airwaves, a $6,785 direct mail campaign through Gainesville-based Data Targeting and $5,738 in spending on media production with Tallahassee-based Evolution Media.

Her campaign account had about $69,000 on hand on Aug. 10.

Hill’s report included just two contributions, a $250 check from Cantonment insurance agent David Cagle and a $100 check from Orlando resident David Chong, who didn’t list his occupation.

The campaign also spent more than $12,000 for the week, with the bulk of that cash heading to Pensacola-based Evergreen Marketing Solutions for another couple rounds of direct mailers.

That spending nearly exhausted Hill’s campaign account, leaving him with about $1,400 in the bank at the end of the reporting period.

Also seeking the Republican nomination is Lisa Doss of Milton, who has yet to add any contributions since her first report, which saw her pitch in enough cash to cover the qualifying fee to make the ballot.

A recent poll of the three-way primary found Bydlak was the pick for 40 percent of likely Republican primary voters, putting her 6 points ahead of Hill. Doss came in a distant third with 6 percent support while 13 percent said they weren’t aware of the candidates and remainder said they were unsure which of the three they would vote for.

The winner of the Aug. 28 Republican primary will face either Vikki Garrett or Franscine Mathis, both Pensacola Democrats, in the Nov. 6 general election, though HD 1’s strong Republican lean virtually assures the Republican nominee will succeed term-limited Rep. Clay Ingram come Election Day.

HD 1 covers the bulk of Escambia County, including the communities of Century, Molino, Gonzalez, Ensley, Ferry Pass, Belleview and Brent. Ingram has held the seat since it was redrawn in 2012. Before that, he held the old HD 2.

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