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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Skip Campbell will challenge Jeff Atwater



Former state Sen. Skip Campbell, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2006, has decided to run against Sen. Jeff Atwater, the Palm Beach County Republican who's been designated as the GOP's pick for Senate president in 2008. Read the release.

NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY For Immediate Release: January 16, 2008 Contact: John Reid, 850.591.4320 SKIP CAMPBELL ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR FLORIDA SENATE DISTRICT 25 Former South Florida Senator Vows to Change the Direction of Florida and Take on the Status Quo on Behalf of all Floridians FORT LAUDERDALE - Floridians long dismayed over the inability of state government to tackle escalating property insurance rates, skyrocketing gas prices, and high dollar contracts to special interests may soon regain one of their strongest allies in Tallahassee. Skip Campbell on Wednesday announced his candidacy for Florida Senate District 25. The tireless champion for consumers' rights and children's interests said he intended to reestablish a voice for the majority of Floridians who have become disillusioned by the status quo. "When elected, I will take on the pay-to-play culture that corrupts our state politics and provide a voice for the people of Florida who feel too often neglected by their government," said Campbell. The Ft. Lauderdale Democrat, who previously served for a decade in the Legislature, was known for his maverick opposition to the insurance industry's attempts to overrun state regulators for higher rates, his struggle to suspend the state's gas tax to ease the high fuel price Floridians faced at the pump, and his lone battle to locate state contracts worth millions of dollars sent offshore to places such as India. Campbell also made history when, along with another Democratic lawmaker, he sued the state Department of Education to force the agency to reveal the inadequate skills of temporary workers grading the controversial FCAT exam. "Since leaving the Senate, I have watched the Republican-dominated Florida Legislature continue to move in the wrong direction. Something needs to be done," said Campbell. "The go-along-to-get-along policies have brought our state to the edge of a financial cliff that threatens to topple the quality of life Floridians expect in the Sunshine State and their ability to pay for it. "We need a fighter in the Tallahassee ring. Not another special interest ringer." First elected in 1996, Skip Campbell's advocacy for the little guy extended to more than just Tallahassee. An attorney, Campbell successfully took on some of the most powerful corporations, such as State Farm, DuPont, Roche, and Allstate. Raised in a deeply religious blue-collar family, Campbell learned firsthand the value of hard work and determination. Married to his wife Lynn for 37 years, one of his fondest memories is the financially strapped couple's first Christmas together. Asked what she wanted for Christmas, Campbell's wife simply replied, "A pot roast." In the community, Skip Campbell is a past chairman of the local National Multiple Sclerosis Society, board member for Kids in Distress, and member of the Legal Advocates Committee of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The 25th District of the Florida Senate is currently represented by Republican Jeff Atwater, who is slated to be the next Senate President if he manages to survive his reelection bid. Atwater is most known for his close ties to big business groups, particularly insurance companies who have contributed over $250,000 to his campaigns and political action committees. Campbell, a Democrat, will officially file papers this week to challenge Atwater in the November 2008 election.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:15pm]


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