Rep. Tracie Davis has branded herself as the “true Democrat” in her Senate Primary battle with Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney, but new television and mail from Gaffney’s political committee disagree.
“Tracie Davis thinks Florida can’t afford Medicaid. Floridians who need health care can’t afford Tracie Davis,” reads the mail piece.
The claim on the flip side: Davis “voted to cut $550 million from the state budget,” when she cast a “yes” vote for the Rick Scott budget that imposed said cuts.
That budget included appropriations projects that benefited local communities, including the J.P. Small baseball park, an appropriation that Davis advanced. Davis got a “bad for Floridians” rating from one progressive group for voting for the budget, but got a “B” overall that year from them.
Gaffney is backing this up with television since July 21, with a voiceover saying “nobody knows” why she cast the vote and didn’t care that the cuts were “devastating.” That ad closes with a call to “thank Gaffney for standing up for seniors,” calling him the “real Democrat.”
Davis has yet to go fully negative on Gaffney in a mail piece yet, but we expect that is coming soon.
Meanwhile, Gaffney has been spending heavily. The week from July 2 through July 9 saw his political committee spend nearly $147,000, with the vast majority of that spend going toward TV and radio advertising. He has roughly $175,000 to spend at this writing between his campaign account and his committee. Davis has roughly $250,000 unspent yet and she, unlike Gaffney, has not been on television this cycle.
The Primary will likely decide the overall winner in this race for what is an open seat to replace term-limited Audrey Gibson. Republican Binod Kumar filed and closed the Primary, though the district leans Democratic.