Newcomer tops HD 93 Democratic field in April fundraising

Shelly Albright is the newest entrant to the four-way Democratic Primary for the seat based in Palm Beach County.

A recent entrant in the four-way Democratic Primary race to represent the newly drawn House District 93 in Palm Beach County topped the field in April fundraising. But she will have to nearly double her money to catch up with the front-runner in the money race.

First-time candidate Shelly Lariz Albright collected $15,193 last month, beating the $5,175 that Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Katherine Waldron raised in April.

But Waldron, who started running for the seat a year ago, has almost twice as much cash on hand as her closest competitor.

Another Democrat who just entered the race, Tom Valeo, also outraised Waldron last month. He collected $7,730 and earned the endorsement of Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who gave his campaign $100.

But both Albright and Valeo have a lot of ground to make up. Waldron has $68,773 in cash on hand, including $55,000 she loaned her campaign,

In comparison, Valeo, a former legislative staffer, has $6,832 on hand. Albright, a nonprofit administrator — now director of Children and Youth Ministries at St. Peter’s Methodist Church — has $34,619 cash on hand, including $20,000 she loaned to her campaign.

Donors who gave the $1,000 maximum to Albright’s campaign in April were Shelly Albright’s husband, David, a West Palm Beach banker; Mark Hooks, a Royal Palm Beach resident in sales; Melanie Hooks, a Royal Palm Beach homemaker; Raymond Lariz and Sandra Lariz, both Naples retirees; Anne Miller of McGaheysville, Virginia, who works in telecommunications; and Laura Russell, a Jupiter resident who works in food service.

Seth Densen, a social worker also a newcomer to politics, raised $1,095 in April. He now has $1,240 on hand.

The four Democrats are competing in the district that encompasses much of the territory of House District 86, which Rep. Matt Willhite represented. He is stepping away from the statehouse to run for Palm Beach County Commission.

The new HD 93 includes Wellington, portions of Greenacres and western parts of Boynton Beach. The district leans Democratic.

The winner of the Democratic Primary will face Republican candidate Dr. Saulis Banionis, who raised $35 in April. He currently has $794 on hand for his campaign.

The campaigns faced a Tuesday deadline to report all April financial activity.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


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