Former Democratic Representative Kelly Skidmore is running for the Florida House of Representatives District 81 seat. Her uneventful political history and current residence may have constituents questioning whether or not she is the candidate to provide their district with the leadership they need.
From 2006 to 2010, Skidmore was a member of the House of Representatives, representing District 90. While she may have served multiple terms, Skidmore has only received the voter majority in one out of her seven elections. In 2010, Skidmore ran for the District 25 seat and lost in the general election to Republican Ellyn Bogdanoff. In 2016, Skidmore attempted to once again run for the House of Representatives, this time District 91, but was defeated in the Democratic Primary.
During her time serving as a member of the House of Representatives, Skidmore was ineffective, as most of her bills failed in committees. Skidmore did manage to pass only one bill, a dismal record that many voters have pointed too. Skidmore failed to provide the community with the leadership and positive results they actually needed from a representative.
Currently, Skimore works in public relations for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. Public records show the organization Skidmore works for has made financial contributions to nearly 160 Republicans over the last several years. These may prove troubling for Skidmore who is running a Democratic Primary. Prior to her time serving as a representative, Skidmore worked as a legislative aide. During her time serving as an aide, Skidmore took a two-month unpaid leave of absence in 2002 to “work on a political campaign,” and in 2000, she used annual leave to work on a political campaign for six weeks.
Skidmore admitted she doesn’t live in the district, causing uproar among local activists and leaders. District 81 covers parts of Palm Beach County near Lake Okeechobee including Pahokee and Belle Glade. The district leans Democrat, which may prove to be a challenge for Skidmore due to her firm’s past Republican support..
Previously in 2010, Skidmore also ran for a district she did not live in, when she was attempting to claim the seat for District 25 but was living in District 29. At the time, Skidmore claimed she would move to the district, but there was no indication that she ever did so. In June 2010, two months before the primary, Skidmore was still living in her house in the 29th district.
According to the Florida Constitution, all legislators must live in the district for which they are running. Skidmore’s history proves with upcoming elections that her current residence, outside of District 81, may continue to be her primary residence. This begs the question if she can honestly represent the area? This question and more will all be settled once voters have a say in the August 18 election.
Check back next week as we profile additional candidates and offices up for office across Florida.