Ocala key battleground in new dist. 8 senate seat between Bruno and Hukill in November elections
Frank Bruno and Dorothy Hukill are vying for the newly created dist. 8 state senate seat in the Nov. 6 general elections. The top graphic shows the demographics of the district and the highlighted area on the map shows the territory.
OCALA -- It could be an election horse raise to the finish between Democrat Frank Bruno and Republican Dorothy Hukill in the newly-dawn dist. 8 state senate seat that comprises parts of Marion, Lake and Volusia counties.
After all, Ocala, the Marion County seat, is "horse capital of the world" and its motto is "God be with us."
With those all-American labels, the city of Ocala is the ideal place for a good ol'-fashioned political battle in the November general elections between Democrat Frank Bruno and Republican Dorothy Hukill for the newly created dist. 8 state senate seat.
Indeed it will be. More than a third of the district's population is from Marion County and Ocala, with 56,517 residents is its largest community.
Bruno and Hukill may not be household names to Ocalans, but the two contenders in the county seat for Marion County and a community known nationally for its scenic horse farms.
Bruno, 65, a printer by trade who lives in Ponce Inlet, is the face of Volusia County government as its county chair, having served two consecutive four-year terms in the leadership post and 20 years altogether as an elected county official.
Hukill, 65, and former Port Orange mayor, is a fixture in Tallahassee politics as the representative for the 28th dist. in the Florida House of Representatives. First elected in 2004, she was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.
Both are term-limited in their respective elective offices.
A recent poll has the two in a "dead heat" as of mid-August, though St. Peters Blog writes, "The newly redrawn district includes Volusia, Marion and Lake counties and can be categorized as a tossup seat that is winnable for a Democratic candidate. The new poll from Hamilton Campaigns shows several factors working in Bruno’s favor."
The blog continues, "Bruno has higher name identification than Hukill in the district, 36 to 25 percent." It concludes: "However, after voters hear biographical information followed by positive and negative messages about each candidate, Bruno opens up a +8 percentage point lead."
The Hukill camp thinks otherwise, pointing to a straw poll earlier this month in Leesburg that says just the opposite.
Dorothy Hukill wrote on her Facebook campaign page on Aug. 3: "Another big straw poll victory - this time we took 76% of the vote at the Lake County Election Hob Nob! A big thank you to all of our supporters...we're on a roll now!"
Bruno on Thursday scoffed at the straw poll results, saying, "It was taken in Leesburg, which is not even in the new senate district."
Both are on the same page, however, on the need to cut state spending while looking for ways to encourage job growth.
"The private sector, not government, creates jobs, Hukill said, adding state lawmakers should "primarily focus on making it easier for businesses to bring quality jobs to our communities."
Bruno said cutting the red tape of bureaucracy will attract new businesses and allow existing businesses to grow and that in turn will "provide (for) job creation."
Headline Surfer is Florida's first 24/7 Internet newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, covering Volusia County and throughout the greater Orlando metropolitan area via HeadlineSurfer.com, NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. "Headline Surfer" is a registered trademarked owned by NSB News LLC.
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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