House GOP and candidate invest combined $45K in two weeks in Palm Beach’s solidly blue HD 92
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 9/22/21-Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, sits in during the meeting of the House Redistricting Committee meets Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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Dorcas Hernandez is a first-time candidate looking to unseat Kelly Skidmore, serving her second stint in the State House.

State Republicans and their candidate are pushing hard to unseat incumbent Democratic Rep. Kelly Skidmore in a Palm Beach County House District that went for President Joe Biden by nearly 20 percentage points last cycle.

The decennial redistricting did not change the blue shade of House District 92 that covers the southwest slice of Palm Beach County, according to Matt Isbell, elections data analyst at MCI Maps. Still, first-time Republican candidate Dorcas Hernandez loaned her campaign $35,000 in the last campaign finance reporting period to take on Skidmore. And the Florida House Republican Campaign Committee dropped $10,000 on Hernandez’s campaign for the same period.

Because of her loan and the Republicans’ contribution, Hernandez — a Peruvian-born defense and security consultant — added more than double to her campaign between Aug. 27 and Sept. 9 than she has for the entire election cycle combined. Thirteen individual donors for this period gave a combined $6,650.

While Hernandez raised a total just shy of $17,000 between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9 from outside donors, Skidmore raised $27,700 in the same period. Between her personal account and her political committee, Protect our Future, Skidmore — now serving her second State House stint after winning election in 2020 — has a total of $65,500 to spend. That’s up against the $48,979 Hernandez has on hand.

Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9, law firms and political committees representing a variety of interests were the biggest source of donations to Skidmore’s campaign. She received $9,200 from law firms and lawyers, including Democratic House candidate Hillary Cassel, who just won her House District 101 Primary, and Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo, who was elected unopposed. Another $14,000 came from political committees representing including beer wholesalers, architects and accountants, to name a few.

As far as spending, Skidmore, the CEO of the Palm Beach Medical Society, has not yet reached the level she spent in July, pre-Primary. Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9, she spent a total of $13,325. Her biggest expenses were $7,629 on Victory Political Mail in North Palm Beach; $3,000 for consulting with Johnson Strategies in Wilton Manors; and $1,218 for travel reimbursement.

She also spent $640 on texting constituents with a Teaneck, New Jersey company, JHSM Holdings. The campaign also sprang for a Primary watch party: $335 at Wood & Fire Pizza.

Meanwhile, Hernandez spent $14,700 in the same period. The biggest expenses were $8,000 to En Solution Services in Miami for marketing and website services and $5,500 to Modern Animal in Boynton Beach for printing yard signs

The campaigns were facing a deadline last week to report all financial activity as of Sept. 9. The inland district stretches from the Palm Beach-Broward line north to Hypoluxo Road.

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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