Fensterwald Withdraws from Florida Senate Race
His withdrawal leaves one Democrat and two Republicans in the race for Senate District 16, which includes north Pinellas and southwest Pasco counties.
PINELLAS-PASCO COUNTIES – Bernard Fensterwald, a Democratic candidate for District 16 seat in the Florida Senate, has withdrawn from the race.
Fensterwald explained his decision in a statement this morning (May 15):
“Approximately 10 months ago, I undertook a quixotic journey to become the next Florida State Senator from District 16. During that time, I attended countless meet and greets and other events, sought endorsements, attended educational conferences, hosted a qualified educational training session in Clearwater, raised thousands of dollars, solicited volunteers and more. I believed that I had a narrow path to victory over Ed Hooper in November and I was gaining traction.
“My decision to run in 2018, and previously in 2016, was based principally upon my belief that we need to change the political culture in Florida, particularly the corrosive effect of almost unlimited campaign money. I strongly support the concept of the ‘citizen legislator’ and I was prepared to donate my salary as a legislator to charity to prove it.
“Over much of this time, I heard rumors that certain anonymous, well-funded establishment Democrats sought an alternate candidate who they felt had a better chance of victory than I. Last Wednesday [May 9], those rumors became reality.
“After consulting with family, friends and supporters, I have concluded that I no longer have any discernible path to victory. The odds of prevailing in both a primary and in the general election are just too great. I am therefore announcing my decision to withdraw from the 2018 contest for Florida Senate, District 16.
“I want to give a special shout out to two people who have become close friends. First, Kofi Hunt, my campaign consultant, whose substantial knowledge of Florida politics, his ability to organize a grassroots campaign and his devotion to progressive ideals created, what I had hoped would be a victorious campaign. And Ed Groth, my dogged treasurer, who kept me out of trouble and who made untold trips to the bank and mailbox. Thank you, both.
“While I regret that I will be unable to serve the citizens of District 16 in Tallahassee, I am comforted in knowing that I have a established a reputation of supporting many bold and engaging progressive ideals and made more than a few friends in Pinellas and Pasco counties.
“I wish only the best for all Florida Democrats in November.”
Fensterwald’s departure from the race leaves Democrat Amanda Hickman Murphy, a former member of the Florida House, and Republicans Ed Hooper and Leo Karruli in contention.
SD 16 is vacant since Jack Latvala resigned from office earlier this year. It includes northern Pinellas and southwestern Pasco counties.
The primary is Aug. 28. The election is Nov. 6.
Bernard Fensterwald | Amanda Hickman Murphy | Ed Hooper | Leo Karruli | Kofi Hunt | Politics | Elections | Tampabay News
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