Rep. Mike Hill is a pariah in the state House, even among members of his own party.
There’s a good reason for that.
Over the summer, Hill was recorded laughing off a suggestion that people start stoning gays. That recording and the Pensacola Republican’s subsequent non-apology led politicians on both sides of the aisle to condemn him.
House leadership even tossed him from the prestigious House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee.
In more recent months, Hill’s campaign fundraising numbers have taken a nosedive. Of the $16,660 he has raised since launching his bid, less than $5,000 came after the debacle. Meanwhile, primary challenger Michelle Lynn Salzman has topped the incumbent in fundraising for five months running.
Still, Hill was able to raise $1,100 in October.
$100 of that came from far-right conservative David McCallister. No surprise there. But Hill also received a $1,000 check — the maximum allowed — from a political committee tied to the Florida Realtors.
While the group generally supports Republicans in state legislative races, especially incumbents, they don’t have a track record of funding fringe candidates who’ve been sidelined by the House Speaker.
Case in point: Florida Realtors backed now-Rep. Randy Maggard over McCallister in the House District 38 special election held in June. Now, they’re donating to the same candidates as McCallister.
Maybe they made a mistake. If so, they’re the only major political committee that has done so — since the end of the 2019 Legislative Session, Hill’s fundraising reports have been devoid of donations from major PACs.
If not, it might be time for them to rethink their decision-making process. Whether they like Hill or not, it’s just bad business.
Supporting Hill does nothing for Florida Realtors — he’s not on any committees relevant to their interests. Choosing not to support him, or even choosing to support a different, better candidate in the race would be much more beneficial.
They may even get a thank you card signed by the rest of the Republicans in the House.