The Senate District 29 Democratic primary has been contracted, contentious and expensive. On Tuesday, it will be settled, as voters decide between Rep. Tina Polsky and former Rep. Irv Slosberg.
Sen. Kevin Rader was likely well on his way to once again securing the Democratic nomination in SD 29 before announcing on May 19 he would not seek reelection. Hours later, Polsky and Slosberg announced they would compete for the open seat.
That left nearly three months for Polsky and Slosberg to ramp up their respective campaigns ahead of the Aug. 18 primary.
The two fought a campaign that was at-times vitriolic. Polsky pushed out multiple mailers attacking Slosberg’s record during his previous time serving in the Florida House. Slosberg responded to those attacks by calling Polsky a liar, comparing her to President Donald Trump and slamming her for her inexperience as a one-term House member.
Polsky, in turn, called those attacks “patronizing and demeaning.” She also defended the accuracy of criticisms of Slosberg’s voting record.
“Everything that is put out by myself or a political committee is verified,” Polsky argued. “The citations are there.”
Slosberg’s campaign was almost entirely self-funded. By the end of July, he had poured more than $1 million of his own cash into the contest. Polsky dominated Slosberg in raising outside money, but had raised just about $440,000 this cycle dating back to her House campaign prior to swapping to the Senate race.
Polsky also has much of the Democratic Party support in the primary. U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings have both backed Polsky’s bid, as did Democratic lawmakers in the state House and Senate.
The winner of the Democratic primary will be favored in the general election against Republican candidate Brian Norton. Democrats hold a 12-point advantage in voter registration over Republicans in the district. Norton, a first-time candidate, is also facing a large money disadvantage, with just $13,000 raised as of July 31.