State Senate Democratic nominee Eunic Ortiz announced Monday that she will be pausing her campaign’s fundraising and Get Out The Vote operations to assist local residents with Hurricane Ian.
Ortiz’s campaign has launched a digital ad program and hurricane resource page to amplify resources, and will also begin wellness check-ins to seniors. The resource page can be accessed here.
“Hurricane Ian is expected to directly impact Tampa Bay and more specifically Pinellas County, and it is our responsibility to be good neighbors and ensure the safety of our community, particularly for the most vulnerable among us,” Oritz said in a statement.
“As an organizer, I know firsthand the importance of jumping in to meet our direct needs. I have been dispersing real-time updates online and through our field efforts to break through the digital divide. After landfall, this team is prepared to roll up our sleeves for a grassroots recovery operation,” she continued.
Ortiz is running for Senate District 18, which covers a large portion of Pinellas County including parts of Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, Pinellas Park, Gulfport and most of the county’s coastline.
As the storm continues to shift more to the east, Pinellas County will feel more significant winds. At this point in time, the county is planning for a Category 3 storm to hit.
One of the biggest challenges Pinellas County residents could face is flooding. With 10 to 15 inches of rain expected, emergency management director Cathie Perkins advised those in areas prone to flooding to protect their homes, raise belongings and be prepared.
Ortiz faces Republican state Rep. Nick DiCeglie. Both hope to take the seat currently held by Republican state Sen. Jeff Brandes, who is leaving office due to term limits.
The seat has a slight red lean. In 2020, 47% of voters in the district supported Democratic President Joe Biden, while 52% went to former Republican President Donald Trump.