Republicans Back Rick Roth With Cash While His Sketchy Opponent Starves
Florida Rep. Rick Roth’s Democratic challenger isn’t putting up much of a fight, but Republicans have continued to pump funds into his campaign out of redistricting concerns.
Roth’s opponent, Terence Davis, has a dark past and seems to have been abandoned by friends and foes alike in his impractical candidacy to challenge Roth for Florida House District 94 in Palm Beach County.
Roth, seeking his fourth term, is one of the two republican lawmakers whose districts are contained entirely within Palm Beach County. But recent redistricting shifted the district ever-so-slightly from being light red to breaking for Joe Biden by a hair in the 2020 election, just .08 percent. The increased funding is likely a response to this shift; Republicans don’t want to lose one of their two footholds in the county.
The Florida House Republican Campaign Committee gave Roth 49 thousand dollars in the last reporting period, plus nearly 6 thousand in research support. According to Florida Politics, Roth’s opponent, Democratic challenger Terence Davis, works with twelve times less than this donation alone.
From August 6 to September 9, Davis raised $1,190 and only spent $525 for door hangings, and his donors included other Democratic representatives. On the other hand, Roth spent 3,000 on door hangings, and his donor list is primarily comprised of conservative committees and interest groups, not politicians, according to Florida Politics.
Part of Davis’s low fundraising may be due to his past. Before making a political run, Davis was a corrections officer in the West Palm Beach juvenile detention center. In 2011, while on duty, juvenile detainee Eric Perez screamed, banged on the wall, and insisted that he heard voices. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Davis was sure that “he was faking it,” telling a colleague that sending Perez to the hospital wouldn’t be worth the paperwork. Davis and the rest of the staff did nothing for hours as Perez died from a cerebral hemorrhage.
Roth, for his part, was a farmer before entering the political landscape, a background many Twitter users applaud him for.
— Florida Farm & Family (@FLFarmFamily) March 22, 2021
— Jeanna Mastrodicasa (@DrJtotheMastro) October 19, 2021
Representative Brian Mast thanked Roth for his focus on food production in Florida.
— Rep. Brian Mast (@RepBrianMast) May 10, 2018
Roth has also been praised by several organizations for his legislative performance so far.
— WPB Fire (@WPBfire) October 19, 2017
The @FlChamber has a long-standing reputation of endorsing incumbent candidates who continue to drive sound policy for Florida business that make Florida more competitive. That’s why we’re proud to endorse Rick Roth for reelection in #HD85. #FlaPol pic.twitter.com/tsVDjGHv01
— Florida Chamber (@FlChamber) August 16, 2020
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