For the first time in recent memory, signs of life stir in the General Election in Florida’s 4th Congressional District.
Though Democrat Donna Deegan faces long odds in the Northeast Florida canton that includes Nassau County and select parts of Duval and St. Johns, her campaign is hunting where the ducks are … by targeting Republicans on Fox News.
“I believe that many of you watching Fox News right now still vote for the person, not the party,” Deegan said in the spot.
“I realize I’m asking many of you to cross party lines to vote for me. But I wouldn’t be asking if I wasn’t willing to do the same in Congress,” Deegan added.
Running in a Republican +20 district, willingness to work across party lines is a prerequisite message, especially since incumbent Rep. John Rutherford trumpets his own bipartisan bona fides.
A media release from the Deegan camp outlined the rationale for the buy in her own words.
“This grassroots campaign isn’t taking any vote for granted. The reality is many people I hope to represent get their news from Fox.” Deegan said.
The question may be not whether this was an audacious play, but if it was too late.
According to the Rutherford campaign’s Tim Baker, the principal architect of the Congressman’s reelection bid, Republican excitement has been surging in CD 4 throughout this cycle. Turnout for Republicans in the district currently out-paces that of Democrats and NPA voters, he noted.
“So if Donna is winning 100% of Democrats and NPAs and Rutherford is winning 100% of Republicans, Rutherford is winning. In other words, not much hope for Donna inside those numbers knowing that even more Republicans are coming out on Election Day,” Baker said.
Baker also noted that “we have run an absolutely positive campaign without so much as mentioning her in any of our communications.”
“This is because Congressman Rutherford has a tremendous record of success and delivering results for northeast Florida and the voters know him and trust his decades of service. Deegan’s lies have been rejected by the voters so there’s been no reason to go start telling the truth about her radical record…so when it’s all over she’ll know that her false negative campaign and out of touch ideas are what sunk her in this race and nothing else.”