Jeff Hinkle will be on the Republican primary ballot in House District 4.
The Okaloosa Republican Party Chairman announced Saturday that he’d collected enough petition signatures to be certified for the ballot by petition.
Hinkle said his connections as county GOP chair helped his campaign build the grassroots support needed for a successful petition drive. The 1,186 verified signatures will spare the Hinkle campaign from cutting a check to make the ballot.
“We are raising money and have the most on hand. Now we are hitting enough doors each week to hit every voter twice before Election Day. Qualifying for the ballot by meeting voters, not sending out slick mailers, is what will lay the groundwork to win this Election,” Hinkle said.
“We deserve a State Representative that will support the President and Governor. We deserve a State Representative who will fight to diversify our economy, so our children and grandchildren remain in the Panhandle. We deserve a State Representative who will fight against the liberals in South Florida and defend us from their attempts to impose those values on us.”
Hinkle, who is also a professional racer, is one of four Republicans running for HD 4, which is open in 2020 due to current-Rep. Mel Ponder’s decision to run for local office.
Hinkle faces Jonathan Tallman, Patt Maney and Sandra Atkinson in the Republican primary.
Through the end of January, Hinkle was setting the pace in cash on hand with nearly $500,000 banked. His fundraising efforts have netted $30,000 in outside contributions and are backed up by a $500,000 candidate loan.
Maney finished the month with $89,000 raised and $76,600 on hand, followed by Tallman with $46,405 raised and about $40,000 on hand. Atkinson has managed to pull in $8,658 from donors and has $2,200 left to spend.
HD 4 has a built-in advantage for Republicans. The district has been held by a Republican since its inception. No Democrat challenged Ponder in 2016, and when he went up against Rebecca Koelzer in 2018, he earned nearly three-quarters of the vote.