Danny Burgess grows GOP support in almost purple SD 20

Danny Burgess Jan. 2019-022-Edit
Republicans lead in voter registration by about 2,000 voters.

Danny Burgess continues to grow support in his bid to replace Sen. Tom Lee in Senate District 20.

All five members of the Pasco County Commission endorsed the Republican candidate, Burgess’ campaign announced Thursday.

Though still significant, the endorsements come as little surprise as all five members — Jack Mariano, Mike Moore, Ron Oakley, Kathryn Starkey and Mike Wells — are Republicans.

“To have the support of each of these County Commissioners means a great deal to me personally and sends a strong message that Pasco County is united behind the idea of servant leadership that focuses on solving problems and injecting common sense into our politics,” Burgess said in a statement.

“This is particularly special because of how important this county has been to me and my family.  Our Commissioners have championed economic growth and fiscal prudence and I thank them for their endorsement and local leadership.”

Burgess has already mounted endorsements from key GOP leadership ahead of the Nov. 3 election including from Senate President Designate Wilton Simpson and Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo. Gov. Ron DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody have also endorsed Burgess.

Burgess doesn’t face an opponent in the Aug. 18 primary, so it’s no surprise that top names in GOP politics are lining up to support him. But he does face a Democrat, Kathy Lewis, in the general election in a district that has been trending purple in recent years, making high-profile support a key strategy this year.

Voter registration in the district favors Republicans by just over 2,000 voters, 116,939 to 114,866, as of Feb. 18 according to the Florida Division of Elections. That gives Republicans only a 1% advantage over Democrats in the district. Another nearly 100,000, 29%, are not affiliated with any party or registered with a third party, most of which are NPA.

Republicans hold voter registration advantages in portions of the district located within Pasco and Polk counties, with just shy of 9,000 more voters in Pasco and about 6,000 in Polk. Burgess is likely to carry those counties.

However, he’s at a disadvantage in Hillsborough County where Democrats favor Republicans by about 12,000 voters.

Endorsements, particularly those with high name recognition, could help him boost GOP turnout to help him bridge the gap in Hillsborough.

Indeed, Burgess has been so far campaigning far harder than his Democratic opponent, which is particularly evidenced in campaign finance activity.

Burgess has raised nearly $137,000 since entering the race in June. That includes significant buy-in from GOP-affiliated groups and political committees as well as the Republican Party of Florida, which kicked in $9,500 in-kind early in the campaign for polling.

Lewis, meanwhile, has raised less than $20,000, limiting her voter outreach activities simply by way of a lack of resources.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

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 [email protected]


One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Any candidate that welcomes support from Duffus Desantis is just another pathetic excuse of a goptrump sociopath! Vote Blue for me and you!

Comments are closed.


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