Tina Polsky’s bet to drop her House seat pays off, defeats Irv Slosberg in SD 29 primary

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Polsky will be favored against first-time candidate Brian Norton, a Republican, in the General Election.

Rep. Tina Polsky‘s bid to transition to the Senate continues as she secured the Democratic nomination in Senate District 29.

With all of Broward County’s precincts reporting and most votes counted in Palm Beach County, Polsky leads Slosberg by a 69%-31% margin.

Senate Democratic Leader Designate Gary Farmer declared victory for Polsky shortly before 8 p.m., releasing a statement congratulating her and other party-backed Democrats who won their primary races Tuesday night.

“During her time in the House, Rep. Tina Polsky has shown her deep commitment to stopping gun violence through commonsense reforms, been a champion for environmental preservation and the Everglades, and worked tirelessly to build an economy that allows every Floridian to compete,” Farmer said.

The SD 29 district spans parts of Palm Beach County including South Bay, Belle Glade and Wellington, and also dips into Broward County.

“Today, voters across both Broward and Palm Beach Counties responded overwhelmingly to our campaign’s message,” Polsky added Tuesday.

“It was a hard-fought race but now it’s time for us to put the primary behind us, unite as Democrats and focus on our Republican opponent in both my election and the presidential race. Despite our differences, I know Irv and I both agree on that.”

The seat opened up on May 19 when one-term Sen. Kevin Rader announced he would not seek reelection.

That left nearly three months for Polsky and Slosberg to ramp up their respective campaigns ahead of Tuesday’s primary for the open seat.

The two sparred intensely at times during the primary. Polsky pushed out multiple mailers attacking Slosberg’s record during his previous time 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.”

A survey released over the weekend by St. Pete Polls showed Polsky leading Slosberg by double digits, 49%-37%.

Slosberg’s campaign was almost entirely self-funded. Through Thursday, he poured nearly $1.5 million of his own money into the contest.

Polsky collected more than $520,000 in outside cash during her Senate run alone. That’s in addition to the money she brought over from her House bid before declaring for the SD 29 contest.

Polsky also secured much of the Democratic Party support in the primary. U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Alcee Hastings both backed Polsky’s bid, as did Democratic lawmakers in the state House and Senate.

Polsky is 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, also is facing a large money disadvantage, raising just over $16,000 while adding more than $25,000 in loans as well.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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