Democratic hopes for a Frank Bruno win in Senate District 8 begin to fade

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Democratic hopes for a Frank Bruno win over Republican Dorothy Hukill are dimming in Senate District 8, reports Jason Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel.

With less than three weeks remaining until the Nov. 6 election, the Florida Democratic Party has yet to buy any advertising time on Orlando broadcast networks to promote Frank Bruno.

… Florida Democrats have helped Bruno with more than $1 million in TV advertising on cable, which is cheaper — beacause it reaches fewer voters – than broadcast. But that spending has been largely drowned out amid a sea of advertising from the Republican Party of Florida, which has invested more than $2 million on broadcast alone to promote its candidate, state Rep. Dorothy Hukill of Port Orange.

Republicans appear supremely confident. Incoming Senate President Don Gaetz told reporters in Tallahassee yesterday that he expects Hukill will win “handily.”

Strategists say Bruno, who is the highest-profile elected official in Volusia County, has held up well in his home county, which accounts for about three-quarters of the district. But he appears to have fallen far behind in Marion and Lake counties, where he is largely unknown.

Democrats say they remain optimistic. “We aren’t going to dictate our strategy, but it’s clear that Republicans are spending at Congressional levels to prop up embattled incumbent Dorothy Hukill,” said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan. “Frank Bruno is strong candidate and he has the full backing of the party. We are confident he will have the resources he needs heading into the final weeks of the campaign.”

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.