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.
In the cutthroat world of Volusia County politics, few issues resonate with constituents—who are otherwise occupied by surfing, building condos or getting old— more than name recognition.
Incumbent Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange), campaigning to retain her seat in the Florida House for District 28, boasts more than 20 years as a resident and a mayoral term under her belt, making her an outright celebrity — at least in local politics terms.
Hukill’s voting record reflects the goals of her party, and her campaign promises to curb spending.
Challenger Teresa Valdes, who filed late in 2009 to compete for Hukill’s seat, has so far created a Web site emphasizing her enthusiasm for the race with egregious capitalization and flagrant punctuation errors.
“At this point in time we are not ‘supporting’ any specific candidate in any race,” said SCP member Walter Hanford in an e-mail. “We are still sizing them up.”
– Holly Kane