Kelly Skidmore is a former legislator and Tallahassee staffer, who works as a publicist for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and Michael Weinstein is a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale.  The two individuals have a close race ahead, as many of the issues on their platforms are similar, such as the reduction of assault weapons, the expansion of Florida Medicaid and stronger assurances to women’s right to choose laws.  They both seem to recognize that the State of Florida has many hurdles to overcome to protect its residents, not only in terms of healthcare access, and safe schools, but in everyday activities of life undertaken without fear from the dangers of gun violence, or financial disparities caused by reduced social services and shortcomings in the current unemployment system as hot state topics.

Community interests.

Skidmore lives just outside of House District 81 borders and this seems to be a recurring speaking point for Weinstein, who lives within the geographic area the winner of this race will represent. In his own direct mail campaign, Weinstein called Skidmore a “career politician” citing her history of running for office in several different districts and the fact that she does not presently reside in District 81. Skidmore said she will move to the district if elected, saying she only lives about a mile outside of the boundary and has already represented a significant portion of the district in the past.

Association to diverse voter values.

Skidmore calls out the differences between her family and Weinstein’s by saying “His family is a strong Democratic family that he regularly talks about, and that’s great,” she said of Weinstein. “I don’t have that kind of family. I’ve got Republicans, Democrats, white, black, straight, gay, transgender. I am from a family that represents America, and I choose to be a Democrat. These are my values.”

Strategies to question personal and professional ethics.

Accusations that shine light on questions of ethics are rooted in Weinstein’s misrepresentation of funding according to Skidmore supporters.  Weinstein describes his fundraising lead over primary opponent Kelly Skidmore as “20 to 1 in both number of grassroots donors and funds raised.”

In an early and hard-hitting direct mail campaign, Skidmore called out Weinstein, a criminal defense attorney, for representing men accused of domestic violence, insinuating Weinstein would not be the best advocate for women.  Skidmore said, “I think that it’s a fair comparison in terms of who’s going to fight harder to protect women and who is going to make a better decision on any kind of sentencing guidelines for domestic abuse victims,” she said.

Weinstein defended himself by saying “I think that my opponent has gone directly in the gutter to run her campaign,” he said of the mailers. “I was a prosecutor for five years, and I put people in jail for  committing crimes against women. Currently, as a lawyer, I represent victims of domestic violence in restraining order cases.”


As residents of District 81 who support Michael Weinstein, show up on election day August 18th to cast your important vote in this close race.

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