Republican Halsey Beshears opens up wide lead over Democrat Robert Hill, according to new poll

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Rural North Florida voters for generations elected conservative Democrats to the Legislature. But the GOP has made inroads in recent elections and, doubtless, would like to capture the District 7 seat, which effectively became open when Democrat Leonard Bembry decided to run for Congress.

If the latest polling data is any indication, Republicans may see their goal accomplished on November 6.

According to a new survey conducted by St. Pete Polls, Republican Halsey Beshears is leading Democrat Robert Hill, 52% to 36%, with approximately 12% of voters undecided.

The poll of likely voters was conducted Oct. 3 through Oct. 6 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.8%.

During the most recent fundraising period, Beshears collected $32,700 in contributions between Sept. 15 and Sept. 28, far outdistancing Hill, who raised $7,760. Among the industries that contributed to Beshears during the period: ophthalmologists, citrus growers, pari-mutuel facilities, nursing homes, HMOs and banks.

Newly drawn, District 7 is massive, stretching from Gulf County to Madison County.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.