Kelly Skidmore starts General Election as cash leader in HD 81

Skidmore is seeking a return to the House after serving from 2006-2010.

Former Democratic Rep. Kelly Skidmore remains the cash leader in House District 81 after emerging from a contentious primary on Aug. 18.

Skidmore has heavily outraised her Republican opponent, Saulis Banionis, this cycle. Since filing for the race on May 22, Skidmore has raised nearly $123,000 between her campaign and her political committee, Floridians for Early Education. Banionis has collected less than $4,000 in outside money and has added a $2,000 loan.

That’s according to the latest fundraising reports from the Division of Elections, which are current as of Aug. 21.

Still, Skidmore was forced to spend significantly in her primary contest against attorney Michael Weinstein. She has just over $21,000 remaining ahead of the General Election. That’s still enough to top Banionis, who holds just under $2,200.

Banionis, a doctor who runs a private practice in Wellington, also faced a primary matchup against real estate agent Silmo Moura. Banionis defeated Moura 61%-39%.

Fresh off those primaries, neither Skidmore nor Banionis showed any money raised in the most recent fundraising period, covering Aug. 15-21.

Skidmore represented parts of Palm Beach County from 2006-2010. She also served as a staff member for former U.S. Rep. Ron Klein during his time in the state Legislature. Banionis is a first-time candidate.

Skidmore is the favorite to take the HD 81 seat on Nov. 3. Democrats own a nearly 19% advantage over Republicans in voter registration in the district. That, combined with Skidmore’s fundraising advantage, will make it difficult for Banionis to deny Skidmore a return to the House.

The winner will replace Democratic Rep. Tina Polsky, who left the seat after just one term to run in the Senate District 29 contest. Polsky also won her Aug. 18 primary and will likely grab that seat in the fall.

The district covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Pahokee and Belle Glade. Candidates and political committees faced a Friday, Aug. 28 deadline to report all financial activity through Aug. 21.

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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