Tuesday, November 6, 2012

In HD-68 race in Pinellas, Democrat Dwight Dudley beats Frank Farkas in what he calls a "despicable" campaign

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Dwight Dudley at the Coliseum in St. Pete on Tuesday
  • Dwight Dudley at the Coliseum in St. Pete on Tuesday
Pinellas County attorney Dwight Dudley has beaten former GOP state legislator Frank Farkas in the extremely competitive House District 68 race, 51-44 percent. Independent Matthew D. Weidner received 5 percent of the vote.

Dudley targeted much of his campaign against Farkas for his 2006 vote in the legislature for voting for SB 888, which allowed utility companies like Progress Energy to charge ratepayers for construction costs of nuclear plants regardless of their completion. That vote was nearly unanimous in the legislature at the time, but the public has a much more critical view of it now than it did then, and Dudley was smart in attacking Farkas for that vote.

Farkas went after Dudley for, well, being an attorney. A criminal defense attorney.

That angered Dudley, who told CL earlier Tuesday that it revealed a lack of understanding of the U.S. Constitution on the part of Farkas, who is a chiropractor.

"It's a despicable and low thing to do," Dudley said, before pivoting to his go-to attack line.

"Instead of talking to the voters about the issues, like the utilities tax — the Farkas fee that he created that we're all paying for what we've paid $680 million so far, and we're going to get taxed up to $3.5 billion — he wants to talk about my profession [of] defending people, which the Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance [support], which is the envy of the entire world, it's a lauded system of justice."

Florida Democratic Chair Rod Smith hailed Dudley's victory, saying he "ran a strong campaign centered on protecting the consumer and defending the rights of citizens, and will be a fighter for the middle class families of his community. These are the very same principals that have guided his career in public service and voters delivered him a victory."

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