Lauren Melo charges onto airwaves
Lauren Melo

Realtor, truck driver, racer, candidate.

Naples House candidate Lauren Melo  charged onto the airwaves this week with her first TV ad.

The 30-second spot shows a person rocket out of a garage on the back of a four-wheeler as a narrator asks, ”What’s it take to jumpstart this economy? Someone who’s built a business, made payroll, earned success.”

The driver then takes off a helmet, revealing herself to be Melo.

“Someone with horsepower,” Melo proclaims.

The Naples real estate agent jumped into the House District 80 race immediately after Byron Donalds announced he would forgo reelection to run for Congress. She serves now as president of the Naples Area Board of Realtors, but the ad reminds she has an array of experience outside selling land.

She previously ran her own trucking company, for example. And that’s not her only experience driving a motor vehicle.

“Businesswoman, truck driver, Motocross racer,” the narrator continues.

The ad then lays out a conservative platform, standing with law enforcement and President Donald Trump.

“Lauren Melo knows how to create jobs,” the narrator says. “And I’ve got the horsepower to prove it,” Melo adds herself.

The advertisement started running this week on broadcast and cable in the Fort Myers-Naples market.

She’s the first candidate in the HD 80 race on TV, an advantage of being the first entry into the race and the top fundraiser.

Through July 10, Melo raised $88,884 for the race, including $12,400 just since July 10. That included professional support like the Realtors Political Action Committee, which donated $1,000, but also a number of beverage industry entities like the Florida Beer Wholesalers Political Committee, Florida Beer Wholesalers Good Government and Coastal Beverage, which all also gave maximum amounts.

She still had $69,442 on hand at the last filing.

Republican primary opponent Drew Montez Clark, meanwhile, raised $10,650 last period and $14,982 overall since his late entry, and had $11,806 on hand, including a $2,000 loan.

 Victor Dotres, the other Republican in the race, has raised no money outside a $4,000 loan, of which he has spent $2,980.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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