Eric Holder endorses Patrick Henry’s return to HD 26

Patrick Henry
Henry lost reelection in 2018 by just 61 votes.

Daytona Beach Democrat Patrick Henry picked up an endorsement from former Attorney General Eric Holder in his campaign to retake Volusia County’s House District 26.

Holder’s endorsement came alongside a nod from the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group chaired by Holder that aims to get Democrats in office so they have more sway when legislative districts are redrawn for the 2022 elections.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr. and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) in my campaign to return to Tallahassee as State Representative for District 26. In 2010, Floridians overwhelmingly spoke out by passing Amendments 5 and 6 — sending a clear message to legislators that districts should be drawn in a fair and impartial manner,” Henry said.

“As we prepare to redraw legislative maps next year after the completion of the Census, it is vitally important that we have legislators who fight to protect the will of the voters. I am committed to ending gerrymandering and will not stop fighting map manipulation until we have truly representative districts.”

Henry was elected to the House in 2016 by a comfortable margin but lost his reelection bid against now-Republican Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff by just 61 votes.

The razor-thin margin two years ago, and Henry’s past success in the district place HD 26 among the most watched state House races this cycle — Democrats are pushing to flip it back, and Republicans are working equally hard to hang on.

In the Aug. 18 primary election, Henry dispatched challenger Evans Smith with 64% of the vote while Fetterhoff went unopposed, allowing her to build an advantage in the money race.

As of Aug. 21, Fetterhoff had raised more than $184,000 for her reelection campaign and had about $138,000 left to spend. Fetterhoff’s political committee, United For Florida’s Future, also has $17,321 in cash.

Henry, through the same date, had raised $66,600 and had just over $36,000 in the bank. Henry’s committee, Florida’s 99 United, has about $3,300 on hand.

HD 26 covers a large portion of Volusia County, including the communities of Holly Hill, Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona and DeLand.

The most recent voter registration statistics available from the Florida Division of Elections show Democrats hold a 39% share of the electorate, giving them a seven-point registration advantage over Republicans.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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