The Rod Smith campaign released its third ad in the Senate District 8 campaign Thursday, and this one takes direct aim at his opponent, Republican Rep. Keith Perry.
“In North Central Florida, our economy and way of life depend on safe water,” Smith says in the ad. “My opponent Keith Perry voted to ignore local communities and let polluters pump toxic chemicals into the ground, right next to the water we depend on and without disclosing the chemicals they’re using.”
“That’s not responsible, it’s just money talking in Tallahassee,” he said.
The Gainesville Democrat is referring to Perry’s vote for HB 191 in 2016 session, which would have allowed fracking in Florida. The bill cleared the House on a party-line vote, but ended up dying in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.
“I’m going to fight to keep our water safe, because without that we won’t have anything,” Smith said to close out the ad.
The race for Senate District 8 has been heating up, with both candidates airing ads on Gainesville area television.
Through the June 24 campaign finance reporting period, Smith held the lead in fundraising with more than $547,000 on hand across his campaign and committee accounts. Perry, through the same date, has just under $199,000 in his campaign account.
The pair are the only candidates to qualify for the ballot in the newly redrawn SD 8, which holds a slight advantage for Democrats. Back in 2012, the district was carried by President Barack Obama by 1 point.