Republican incumbent Rep. John Tobia has raised an impressive $52,143.56 in contributions for his 2010 re-election bid. However, his rival Republican Lori Halbert has earned a whooping $58,804,43.
The newbie in the political scene has made quite a slash already with a super endorsement from Republican national rising star Florida’s former speaker of the house Marco Rubio, who is the surprise frontrunner for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat.
There are three other candidate running for Florida House seat district-31: Democrats Joe Pishgar and Joseph Crowley, and a Conservative-Republican Daniel M. O’Brien. So far all three candidates have raised a total of $898.
– David Ventura
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Marco Rubio announced his endorsement of Lori Halbert for Florida House seat District 31. This huge endorsement will definitely help Halbert in the August primary against incumbent Rep. John Tobia.
“She believed in me when I was 30 points down in the polls, sending out 3,500 postcards, inviting people to her home, and introducing me to Brevard County,” Rubio said in a prepared statement.
Rep. Tobia has received endorsements from several elected Republican officials throughout Florida such as: Attorney General Bill McCollum, Governor Charlie Crist and State Senator Mike Hardiopolous. However, since Halbert’s key endorsement from Tea Party faithful Rubio we will see how many of his supporters will stick around.
Moreover, after Gov. Crist vetoed Senate Bill 6, Rep. Tobia, withdrew his endorsement of Crist, and said Crist is “playing political games with our children’s education.”
Brevard County’s former GOP chairman Jason Steele, left his position because he doesn’t support Gov. Crist senate run and wants to primary republicans who are not following what he calls conservative values. Steele, has been organizing for Brevard’s Tea Party and enjoys broads support from the movement.
Steele, publicly endorsed Halbert, against sitting GOP member Rep. Tobia while chairman of Brevard’s GOP.
– David Ventura
On March 27, 2010, Rep. John Tobia wrote a guest column for the Florida Today titled “Reform’s Negative Impact.” The column attacked the new health care law as unconstitutional and bad for Florida.
“If allowed to stand, the law will raise taxes, increase deficits, cut Medicare and expand Medicaid while imposing mandates and financial penalties on Floridians. This cannot stand,” Rep Tobia writes in his column.
Rep. Tobia has co-sponsored bills such as House Resolution (HR) 1561 that encourages the attorney general to file suit in federal court if Washington’s health law forces an individual health insurance mandate on Floridians. And House Joint Resolution (HJR) 37, known as the Florida Health Care Freedom Act, amends Florida’s Constitution to prohibit any law from mandating people purchase health insurance.
“Protecting Floridians’ rights and freedoms to make appropriate decisions as it relates to their own health care is one of my top legislative priorities.”
Lori Halbert responded to Rep. Tobia’s column by firing back with her own column on the Florida Today attacking Rep. Tobia’s record.
While Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) has been moving legislation in Tallahassee, her (seriously) underdog opponent in the upcoming election seems to have been working a grassroots fund-raising operation.
Teresa Valdes, running as a Republican, has put together some decent funds from what looks to be a large number of individual, mostly non-business donors.
According to finance data from the Florida Division of Elections, all but 12 of Valdes’ 128 contributions came from individuals with residential addresses mostly in Daytona Beach and Ponce Inlet, major parts of District 28.
The Florida Agent Political Action Network, “an issue-based organization founded by State Farm Agents,” contributed $500, as did Volusia County-based retailer John’s Appliance City and Remax All-Pro Realty.
Kenney Broadcasting Corporation, which may or may not be a golf-supply distributor, gave $100, High Maintenance salon in Holly Hill gave $35 and Stonewood Bar and Grill gave $30.
Six other contributions came from Valdes.
The rest came from individuals’ donations that ranged from $10 to $500. Most of them were $50.
Although her grand total of about $20,000 looks less impressive than Hukill’s roughly $70,000, the latter accepted nearly $25,000 from various PACs.
A billboard supporting Georgia Hiller, a candidate for District 2 Collier County commissioner, has been vandalized twice in the past week.
The sign, located on the corner of Airport-Pulling Road and Orange Blossom Drive, was changed to read “Georgia Hitler.”
“To be able to send such a hateful message with three strokes of a pen takes a great deal of contemplation,” Hiller told the Naples Daily News.
The sign has since been cleaned, but other candidates are worried that this might be a reflection of the community.
“If Naples residents are capable of doing this, then we all might be worse off than I thought,” said District 4 candidate Lavigne Ann Kirkpatrick. “Naples needs effective and empowering leadership guide us back into a welcoming community.”
After a series of interviews in March and April, the Greater Naples Better Government Council has chosen to support incumbent Fred Coyle over Lavigne Ann Kirkpatrick in the election for District 4 Collier County Commissioner.
The President of the GNBGC, Dave Trecker, made the announcement in a letter to the editor of the Naples Daily Newspaper on April 16.
Coyle’s experience was a deciding factor in the council’s endorsement, Trecker said.
According to the first quarterly campaign finance report of the fiscal year, incumbent Fred Coyle has raised more money than challenger Lavigne Ann Kirkpatrick.
From January 1st to March 1st, Coyle has received about $9,500 but has only spent about $2,200. In that same time, Kirkpatrick has only raised about $2,600 and had already spent about $2,000 by the end of that same quarter.
Both candidates have spent a majority of their money on advertising and the maintenance of their Web sites.
A possible reason for the difference is because Coyle had more than 60 contributors, while Kirkpatrick had less than 20.
“It isn’t how many people contribute to my campaign, it’s the kind of people who donate their time, efforts and money—that’s what is important,” Kirkpatrick said.
To date, Coyle and Kirkpatrick have raised about $61,000 and $18,000 respectively.
The recent senate bill 6, which grades teacher salary based on student performance, has dominated the legislature for the past three and a half months, and drawn ire from both parties. The Democratic party, with its historic defense of teachers union, has been particularly vocal in its opposition, and this trend has extended to the party candidates for attorney general, Dave Aronberg and Dan Gelber. Luckily, the controversy has granted a boon to the attorney general’s race: Aronberg and Gelber have made public statements in legislative session opposing the bill with articulated arguments that show their legislative and legal reasoning for opposing the bill. Even better, both Aronberg and Gelber’s speeches are on Youtube. Click on the links and decide for yourselves.