Democrat State Rep. Skidmore Faces Primary Challenger In New District 92

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Two candidates are running in the Democrat Primary for the new State House District 92 in southwestern Palm Beach County, including current State Representative Kelly Skidmore. She's serving in District 81 which is moving to Florida's west coast due to redistricting.

Skidmore spent four years in the state House of Representatives until 2010 and then returned two years ago.

She is also CEO of the Palm Beach County Medical Society and has previous experience in public relations. Skidmore has healthcare priorities, but admits her top goal is not likely to happen.

"If you say Medicaid expansion in the Florida Legislature, those are fighting words" she says with a chuckle. "That's a nonstarter for the majority Republican-led Legislature."

But she says she has been able to work across the aisle on some legislation, citing one regarding the classification of Black or mix-raced foster kids. They had been labeled as "special needs," before that was amended in bipartisan fashion.

But one thing Skidmore couldn't get done was a bill she co-sponsored with another Democrat which would have required schools to offer free menstrual products to students.

A key priority for Skidmore if she's brought back to Tallahassee next year...

"The advancement of Florida's Blue Economy. That's something that I feel very strongly about and passionate about." Skidmore says that is aimed at protecting and responsibly capitalizing on Florida's water resources.

In this race, she faces a political newcomer. Hasan Zahangir says he is not a "career politician," but instead a small business owner who moved to our area more than forty years ago from his native Bangladesh.

And he says he's no stranger to the District.

"I'm involved in the community, 100 percent every single day. And my constituents see me every single day, because I'm running around helping people."

Zahangir says his small business experience since 1989 would be a plus in Tallahassee. And he says our local small businesses will be crushed if more isn't done to make affordable housing available.

"By the year 2030, if we don't do anything we are not going to have any regular workers or any of the mom and pop shops or any of the small businesses. They're not going to exist because it will be hard to find the labor."

Among Zahangir's other priorities, gun control. He wants gun owners to have a mandatory mental health screening every five years.

The winner of this primary will face Republican Dorcas Hernandez in November. Like Zahangir, she is an immigrant who became a U.S. citizen. Hernandez was born in Peru.

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