My campaign to be elected to the Florida House of Representative is now two months old. Thanks to you it has gotten off to a tremendous start.
The first hurdle was to collect enough signatures of registered voters in order to qualify for the ballot. With the help of volunteers from Manatee and Sarasota counties, we were able to get more than enough petitions in less than a month. This week concludes the qualifying process and I have been informed by the Florida Division of Elections that my name will be on the ballot for those who can vote in District 71.
The next challenge is fundraising. I am concerned about the influence of money in politics and so I decided to do something about it. I am voluntarily limiting contributions to $100 per donor. I believe that ours is a government of the people and should not be for sale to the highest bidder. This message is resonating in the community. Every day I am receiving campaign contributions from people throughout the area. While I will never outraise those who depend on insurance and phosphate money, I should have more than enough to be competitive and get my message out to the voters.
The way I get the word out is through person-to-person campaigning. Already I have been to neighborhood associations, community events, concerts and picnics. Wherever people gather and are interested in talking about issues important to all Floridians, I am trying to be there. This webpage and my Facebook page are also great ways to write substantively about how I plan to represent you in Tallahassee.
The most important part of the campaign is the opportunity to learn from individual voters about the issues important in their lives. Therefore, I would like to invite everyone to my first Town Hall Meeting to be held on Thursday, June 14 at the Palmetto Youth Center located at 501 17th St. West. The North River Democratic Club graciously agreed to host this event, which begins with a social at 6:30 p.m. before the meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. While this will be an opportunity for me to introduce myself to the voters, it will also be a chance for you tell me what is on your mind and give your ideas about improving state government.
A campaign like mine needs help in order to be successful, and so I would like to invite you to attend one of the campaign kickoff events that will be held on Saturday, June 16. In Bradenton at 1:30 p.m., we will be at the VFW hall located at 420 67th Street West, just off Manatee Avenue. Because of the great response we are already getting, it looks like we might have to find a larger space. I will keep you posted. In Sarasota, at 4:00 p.m., we will be at the Waldemere Fire Station, located at 2070 Waldemere Street, just east of U.S. 41, near Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
At the kickoff we will serve refreshments, have some fun, talk about politics, and sign up volunteers. You would do me a great honor by attending either of these events, and there is no obligation implied by attending. Together we can make a difference for our community and I look forward to seeing you then.