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David Simmons buys TV time to thank voters

State Sen. David Simmons, re-elected in June when no one filed to run against him in Seminole County’s Senate District 9, is airing TV commercials in Orlando for three weeks thanking voters and urging people to put aside political differences and come together during the holidays.

Simmons spent $150,000 on the effort, having Southern Campaign Resources of Tallahassee produce and place the 30-second spot on Orlando’s four major broadcast stations, WESH, WFTV, WKMG and WOFL. The ads started Monday.

Otherwise Simmons, entering his final term in the Senate after eight years in the Florida House and six in the Florida Senate, spent very little of the $257,000 he raised for his campaign actually on campaigning. Lately, he’s closed out the account balance by buying the TV time, making some donations to the Florida Senatorial Campaign and several charities and kept a barebones staff and list of consultants on board.
Simmons said he’s grateful for the opportunity.

“The reason I’m doing it is because it’s been a very divisive year, 2016,” Simmons said. “I thought it was appropriate to, number one, say thank you; and in the way of saying thank you to say this is the time to get together and put differences aside, and get to solving the myriad of problems we have, with the opportunities we have to work together.”

In the commercial Simmons begins sitting in his office, saying he was humbled by his unopposed re-election. Then he says, “Let’s put political differences behind us. And as we come together for the holidays let’s reflect on what we, as Americans, have in common, rather than what divides us.”

As he says that the images change to a woman and toddler eyeing a Christmas tree, a family laughing at a dinner table and another family playing in a park.

He then wishes everyone happy holidays.

SCR President Rockie Pennington noted it’s not unusual for his clients to buy time to say thank you, noting that new House Speaker Richard Corcoran has done so in two previous cycles.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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