Speed Chialtas sees uphill path to House

Speed Chialtas
Clay Yarborough challenger speaks.

Spyros “Speed” Chialtas is one of two Democrats seeking the general election nod in HD 12.

The candidate knows that if he gets to the general it’s an uphill battle, given Rep. Clay Yarborough, the Republican incumbent, has money banked and copious political capitol.

But Chialtas is in it to win it anyway.

Though the pandemic has crimped traditional campaigning, Chialtas, a former Army Sergeant and current realtor, says the “political climate we’re in” creates at least a certain level of engagement, with people “sharing their frustrations” about all levels of politics.

The candidate, who has been involved in the campaigning for others for years, likens the feel to 2008, in the sense of a general consensus that politics “can’t continue on this path.”

People want “leadership,” Chialtas said, in an era where the GOP is offering “boat parades.”

To that end, the veteran soldier is stepping up. But he understands politics as an enterprise where “everything is a negotiation.”

In real estate, he notes, “we are transaction brokers.”

It’s that experience he hopes will lend itself to the campaign and, should he score the upset, to  Tallahassee.

However, to get there, Chialtas has to overcome a primary where Emmanuel Blimie awaits him.

Chialtas, if he noticed much about his opponent’s campaign, didn’t recount it. But he did notice that campaigning has been a little different.

“I’m not 100% on how we’re going to get through it,” he said, regarding campaign procedures.

He spends four hours or so every morning on “drop and dash,” leaving literature with prospective voters. And he had a town hall Tuesday night.

But beyond that, he knows this is “not going to be an easy battle.”

Yarborough has a reputation that precedes him and a considerable edge in resources, with $85,000 in hard money alone, but Chialtas, despite having less than $1,000 on hand, is not deterred, with full intention of taking his platform to the voters.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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