June 13, 2024


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Tampa-based state House race could showcase new style of campaigning


Printed Jun. 25|Up to date Jun. 27

In an open up, south Tampa-primarily based state House seat, a aggressive Republican most important could test a new fashion of campaigning even though a Democrat has a distinct path to the normal election.

In the GOP main, Young Republicans leader Jake Hoffman will facial area law firm Michael Minardi and businesswoman Karen Gonzalez Pittman.

Democratic insurance plan agent Jen McDonald has no key opponent.

The district has been represented by Republicans for decades — Rep. Jackie Toledo is now leaving it to operate for Congress. But redistricting has designed it a bit Democratic-leaning. In 2020 it voted for both of those Joe Biden in opposition to Donald Trump and Andrew Gillum in opposition to Ron DeSantis by about 4 proportion factors.

McDonald has some strengths heading into the race.

She’s second amid the four candidates in fundraising with $95,577 in her campaign and $6,250 in a political committee as of the conclusion of May perhaps.

She is the only prospect who capable by petition, and she was on the 2020 ballot in a county commissioner district that addresses the Dwelling district. McDonald missing 55-45 % in a Democratic main against Commissioner Harry Cohen.

“Obviously I have got some momentum,” McDonald said. “We’re going to begin achieving persuadable voters although the Republicans are battling about their supervoters.”

Pittman, who operates a vein treatment clinic with her medical professional husband, is the foremost fundraiser with $121,135, aided by contributions from the well being treatment market. She began a marketing campaign for a countywide school board seat in January but switched to the Household seat in March.

Pittman mentioned she refunded all her school board contributions. Numerous of those donors, nonetheless, have given that provided to her Household marketing campaign.

Minardi trails in fundraising with $31,425 and experienced invested $25,331 of that at the stop of May well, but also had about $13,000 in a political committee.

Hoffman, founder of a digital marketing and advertising firm, has raised $71,146 like $50,000 of his very own money, as well as $15,200 in an unbiased committee.

But his most significant benefit in the race may well be assist of appropriate-wing influencers these as “DC Draino” — genuine title, Rogan O’Handley — who have designed audiences on social media.

Hoffman calls that “a wild card in a legislative primary” and hopes it will drive the turnout of young voters. He acknowledges it may well not achieve standard Republican major voters, who are mostly older and white.

But, he claimed, “You’re not likely to access 30-somethings with mailers … “The issue will be how several Republicans under 40 occur out and vote.”

Pittman, managing a more conventional campaign, mentioned she has “no idea” no matter if Hoffman’s social media system will get the job done.

“It will be exciting to see — type of like the Kennedy-Nixon debates,” she mentioned, referring to the first televised discussion between two presidential candidates, which proved a turning stage in the 1960 race.


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