In yet another sign that the House District 15 bid of Democratic nominee Tracye Polson is getting interest from well outside Jacksonville, the campaign touted on Tuesday an endorsement from a United States Senator.
First-term Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen endorsed Polson in the race to succeed outgoing Rep. Jay Fant, citing first-hand knowledge of what the candidate brings to the table.
“I have firsthand knowledge of Dr. Tracye Polson’s remarkable expertise and leadership having been a board member of an organization – where Tracye spent twelve years ending in the role of Executive Director – whose mission is focused on early childhood mental health and education. She is expert, caring and trustworthy,” Van Hollen asserted.
“Having been a state house Delegate and knowing the responsibilities of the office, I fully endorse Dr. Polson for Florida House District 15, certain that she will be an effective Representative of the people of Jacksonville,” the Senator added.
Polson said it was “an honor to be endorsed by United States Senator Chris Van Hollen who has earned bipartisan respect and worked across the aisle to file this year a bill to protect our democracy through the Defending Elections Act (DETER).”
This bill, co-sponsored with Florida Republican Marco Rubio, would use economic and criminal sanctions to punish foreign interference in American elections.
Polson and Van Hollen go back almost two decades.
“In October 2001,” Polson noted, “I provided expert testimony before then State Senator Van Hollen on the need for early childhood mental health services that was under legislative consideration. Through that experience, Senator Van Hollen and I worked together to advance policies and programs improving the health and education of children and families.”
Polson, with $127,000 on hand as of the most recent report, still holds a narrowing cash lead against the Republican field. Lobbyist Wyman Duggan had almost $123,000 on hand (and is already up on television), with opponents Mark Zeigler ($32,482 on hand) and Joseph Hogan ($12,537) well behind.
If Polson/Duggan is the general election, expect this to be one of the most expensive state House races in Florida. Polson appears poised to have help, including staffers, from the Florida Democratic Party. Duggan will have all the help he needs from the Jacksonville business and political establishments, along with state interests.