A Democrat has filed to run against Port Orange Republican Sen. Dorthy Hukill in SD 14, which covers parts of Brevard and Volusia counties.
Melissa “Mel” Martin opened her campaign account on Aug. 23 and is so far the only candidate challenging Hukill, who has held the seat since 2012.
Martin is a former member of the Marine Corps, where she worked as a judge advocate. She is an alumna of of both the U.S. Naval Academy and Barry University, where she earned her law degree.
“I hope to bring a practical mind and my leadership experience to bear in service to the folks who live in Senate District 14. My door will always be open to facts, science, logic, and personal accounts regarding what needs to change in Tallahassee. And, to put all potential lobbyists on notice, money does not talk for me,” she wrote on her campaign website.
She said her priorities if elected would be to end “campaign bribery” by prohibiting campaign contributions by lobbyists, boost Florida Forever funds, and expand home rule for local governments.
Despite her platform, Martin could likely use some of those lobbying dollars as she faces an uphill battle against Hukill, who is both well funded and has the advantage of running in a GOP-friendly district.
Through the end of July, Hukill had raised about $55,000 for her campaign account and had about $40,000 of that money on hand.
SD 14 has about 16,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats, and was carried by Mitt Romney 54-46 in 2012 and by Donald Trump 57-38 last year.