Dana Trabulsy laps Democratic challenger in resources while seeking second House term

Republicans are investing heavily in maintaining this newly flipped seat on the Treasure Coast.

Republican Rep. Dana Trabulsy appears to be on her way to a second term representing the Treasure Coast in Tallahassee, if the amount of support she’s received compared to her Democratic rival is any indication.

For this election cycle in House District 84, Trabulsy has raised more than $332,096 between her personal campaign account and her two political committees, St. Lucie Strong and Friends of Dana Trabulsy.

Her challenger, Democrat Forest Blanton, has raised $7,878 as of Oct. 21. He also loaned his campaign $15,000.

After a long career as a health care executive, Blanton retired from Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County and moved to St. Lucie County. He lost in the 2020 Primary Election to the incumbent Democratic Rep. Delores Hogan Johnson, who Trabulsy subsequently unseated.

The district has maintained its light red hue since 2016. Voters here supported President Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by 1 point in 2016, and supported him again in 2020 by 2 points over President Joe Biden in 2020, according to election data expert Matt Isbell of MCI Maps.

And it looks like state Republicans are investing in holding this district in the red column and keeping it from falling back into Democratic hands, as it always had been before Trabulsy’s upset, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers.

The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) gave Trabulsy’s campaign $49,000 in cash plus $14,000 worth of in-kind donations of staff and polling support. The Florida House Republican Campaign Committee (FHRCC) donated $14,200 in in-kind support as well.

For the reporting period covering Oct. 8-21, Trabulsy raised $17,000. Centene Management Company, a health care company in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida in Hollywood handed her the period’s biggest checks. She received $2,500 from each.

Collectively, health care donations formed her largest sector of support, giving her $5,500. She also got $2,000 from charter school interests.

Blanton has waged a grassroots fundraising effort. All 16 the donations he collected between Oct. 8 and 21 were from individuals — all giving $300 or less.

Throughout the election cycle, Blanton did not receive as much support from the state Democratic Party apparatus as Trabulsy received from the state Republicans.

But Blanton did get some support from Democratic clubs. The Democratic Women’s Club of Florida, based in Clermont, gave him $350. The Democratic Club of St. Lucie County gave him $500. He did receive two donations of the maximum allowed for personal political accounts: a single $1,000 from the Green Florida PAC, based in Plantation, and another $1,000 from Lolly Jelks in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Blanton highlights his master’s degree from Stanford University and long career in the public health care system and calls himself a “pro-democracy candidate.” He promises to boost public schools, protect abortion rights and be an advocate for preserving the environment.

Trabulsy runs a small business, AllThingsTreasureCoast.com, a Fort Pierce internet marketing and design company. During her freshman term, she introduced legislation successfully passed into law that expanded the list of tasks that home health aides and certified nursing assistants can provide.

Trabulsy received endorsements from the Florida Police Benevolent Association, Florida Realtors, Florida Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Small Business and the Florida Medical Association PAC. Her website also highlights her “A” rating with Florida Right to Life.

Blanton got the nod from the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida, Florida Planned Parenthood, the Florida LGBTQ Democratic Caucus and Hogan Johnson, his former rival in the 2020 Democratic Primary.

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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