THE RACE IS ON in the June 18th Special General Election to replace Danny Burgess in House District 38. The seat has been vacant since January when Burgess left to become Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the district has gone without representation during the 2019 Legislative Session.
Our Democratic candidate and Wesley Chapel resident Kelly Smith, who most recently ran for County Commissioner in District 2 and served as Vice Chair of the Pasco Democratic Party now faces the winner of Tuesday’s Republican Primary: Dade City resident Randy Maggard.
With voter turnout for the Republican Primary around 16 percent, the choice was between two very conservative candidates. While Maggard was the “party favorite” and had strong GOP backing, his opponent David “Mac” McCallister ran farther to the right. Trying to “OUT TRUMP” the other, Maggard’s opponent always wore his red MAGA hat on the campaign trail and proudly promoted the Southern “Confederacy” heritage. For both candidates, their core message to “Make America Great Again” voters was clear: we are pro-Trump, pro-life, pro-guns, pro-closed borders.
While many Republicans view HD-38 as a GOP stronghold, the district’s changing demographic tells a different story ─ one that benefits a Democratic candidate like Kelly Smith. With a career in both the public and private sector focused on land use and transportation, Kelly’s background is perfectly suited to the pressing needs of East Pasco. Her candidacy is a game changer as voters now have a strong Democratic candidate WHO CAN AND WILL flip the seat blue.
In announcing her decision to run back in January, Kelly Smith was clear: “For almost 20 years, Florida has been controlled by the Republican Party and elected officials who collectively turned their backs on the daily needs and concerns of working class Floridians. Their irresponsibility has led to inadequate funding for vital community services — high quality public education, access to affordable health care, and programs for foster children. Putting special interests first, Republicans have failed in their responsibility to enact legislation that protects affordable housing and encourages conservation of our already depleted natural resources. It is for these reasons and more I have decided to run in the Florida House District 38 special election,” she concluded.
Are you ready to have Democratic representation in Tallahassee? Have you had enough Republican control here in Pasco? Then get involved, donate to Kelly Smith’s campaign, volunteer to knock doors, write postcards, host a fundraiser party, make phone calls, put out a yard sign.
The general election will be held on Tuesday, June 18th and VOTE BY MAIL BALLOTS hit East Pasco households the week of May 12th. If you are already signed-up for Vote by Mail, immediately return your ballot. To sign up for Vote by Mail, go to pascovotes.com. All ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7pm on election day.