Mayors from Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay back Kelly Skidmore in HD 81

Skidmore represented parts of Palm Beach County from 2006 to 2010.

Former Rep. Kelly Skidmore is adding to her list of backers in the House District 81 race, as three mayors in that region add their endorsements late Monday.

Mayors Steve Wilson of Belle Glade, Keith Babb of Pahokee and Joe Kyles of South Bay all say they’ll support Skidmore as she competes for the Democratic nomination against attorney Michael Weinstein.

“Kelly Skidmore understands the needs of our community and I’m pleased to endorse her campaign for State House,” Wilson said.

“As our next Representative in Tallahassee, I trust Kelly to fight for Belle Glade by pushing for increased funding for Lakeside Medical Center as well as more money for public schools.”

Skidmore announced her bid for HD 81 May 21 after Rep. Tina Polsky shifted to a bid for the Senate. That leaves the HD 81 seat open this fall.

The district covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay.

“I’m confident that Kelly Skidmore will be an excellent representative for Pahokee,” Babb added. “Kelly appreciates the issues important to us — including agriculture, job creation and economic development. I’m excited to work with her on these critical matters as our next State Representative.”

Skidmore represented parts of Palm Beach County from 2006 to 2010. She also served as a staff member for former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein during his time in the state legislature.

So far, she’s trailed Weinstein in fundraising in the first month or so of the campaign. However, a group of current and former lawmakers have backed Skidmore’s bid, including from former HD 81 Rep. Joe Abruzzo.

Added Mayor Kyles, “I’m proud to endorse Kelly Skidmore’s campaign for State House because I know Kelly has the experience needed to help grow jobs here in South Bay. She’ll also work to increase funding for public schools and workforce training programs. Kelly’s leadership in Tallahassee will be an asset to the people of this district.”

Republican candidates Saulis Banionis and Silmo Moura are also competing in the left-leaning district, though have struggled to raise much money.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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