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Kevin Rader, Lori Berman endorse Kelly Skidmore for HD 81

Rader’s departure from his Senate race triggered a series of campaign shuffles.

Sens. Kevin Rader and Lori Berman are endorsing former Rep. Kelly Skidmore for House District 81.

Skidmore is running to succeed Rep. Tina Polsky who is vacating her seat to run in Senate District 29.

Skidmore previously served two terms in the House from 2006 until 2010.

“Kelly is an accomplished legislator who knows how to get things done. I’m supporting her because I am fully confident that she will represent this district with the same passion and commitment she has always brought with her to Tallahassee,” Rader said. “With the health and economic crises we are now facing, Kelly’s depth of experience will be beneficial not only to the people of Palm Beach County but also to the State House as an institution.”

Rader caused a series of shuffles after he withdrew his election bid earlier this week. Polsky announced she would run earlier this week.

Skidmore announced her candidacy Thursday morning.

“Kelly’s history of standing up for reproductive rights and demanding equal pay for equal work are a testament to her character as well as an indication of what she’ll do as the next State Representative from District 81,” Berman said.

“Additionally, I know that she’ll work hard to ensure we finally pass Medicaid expansion in order to provide healthcare for those in our community who need it most.”

HD 81 is encompassed entirely within Rader’s SD 29 and covers communities west of Florida’s Turnpike from Boca Raton up to Lake Worth and the Glades.

“Senator Rader and Senator Berman have earned the respect of their colleagues along with the people of their districts for their leadership on critical issues and their commitment to public service,” Skidmore said. “I am pleased to have their support and I look forward to serving the people of District 81 with the same level of energy and determination.”

Skidmore will be competing against Delray Beach lawyer Michael D. Weinstein for the Democratic nomination.

The district leans heavily Democratic. No Republican has qualified to run in HD 81 since 2012.

However, Silmo Moura of Boca Raton, who works as a real estate agent with United Realty Group, is also running in HD 81 as a Republican.

Qualifying for the race begins June 8.

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Florida Politics’ Ryan Nicol contributed to this report.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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