Former Democratic Rep. Kelly Skidmore is making a big push in the home stretch of the House District 81 campaign, spending more than $45,000 as she seeks the Democratic nomination.
Skidmore is facing attorney Michael Weinstein in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Skidmore’s campaign sent $20,000 to Impact Politics for TV advertising and nearly $20,000 more to Victory Political Mail for a direct mail campaign. Those two items made up the bulk of Skidmore’s expenditures in the final financial reporting period, covering Aug. 1-13.
Weinstein spent just over $30,000, almost all of which went toward Cornerstone Solutions covering expenses for consulting, phone banking, direct mail and other last-minute spending items.
Skidmore is seeking a return to the House after representing parts of Palm Beach County from 2006 to 2010. The HD 81 seat opened in late May after first-term Rep. Tina Polsky swapped races to pursue a Senate seat.
Skidmore and Weinstein quickly ramped up their campaigns. Skidmore spent more than $106,000 in less than three months between her campaign and her political committee, Floridians for Early Education. Weinstein edged out Skidmore in that metric, dropping $121,000 into the race.
That’s thanks in part to Weinstein loaning his campaign $60,000 in total. Skidmore was the better fundraiser, topping Weinstein by a $122,000 to $66,000 margin in outside contributions.
Two first-time candidates — Saulis Banionis and Silmo Moura — are seeking the Republican nomination in the race. Banionis is a doctor who runs a private practice in Wellington. Moura is a Boca Raton Republican who has nearly two decades of experience as a real estate agent.
Neither has raised much cash. Banionis spent just over $2,700 in his bid for the seat. Moura has spent less than $500.
The Republican nominee will be an underdog come November. Democrats own a nearly 19-percentage point advantage over Republicans in voter registration in HD 81.
The district covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Pahokee and Belle Glade. Candidates and political committees faced a Friday, Aug. 14 deadline to report all financial activity through Aug. 13.