As she seeks to win a fourth full term in the Florida House of Representatives, Rep. Marti Coley, R-Marianna, is a heavy favorite to head back to Tallahassee despite opposition in the Republican primary in HD 5 on Aug. 14.
First elected to the House in a special election in 2005, Coley currently represents all of Calhoun and Liberty counties and parts of Bay, Gadsden, Jackson, Leon, Okaloosa, Wakulla and Walton counties. After the redistricting process, Coley is running to represent all of Holmes, Jackson, Walton and Washington counties and parts of Bay County.
A teacher by profession, Coley has often focused on education issues. She currently chairs the Pre-K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee and serves on the full Education and Appropriations committees. Previously Coley chaired the Postsecondary Education Committee and served as vice chair of the K-12 Education Committee. Coley also served in the Republican House leadership, rising to become deputy majority whip early in her tenure in Tallahassee.
Coley has raised almost $117,500 as of July 20 and relied on more than $6,600 through in-kind donations. So far, she has kept her money in the bank. As of July 20, Coley spent less than $32,000, keeping more than $85,000 on hand in the final weeks before the primary.
Battling Coley for the Republican nomination is Danny Glidewell from DeFuniak Springs. A former law enforcement officer, Glidewell is well-known in the area, having served as director of communications in Walton County.
Glidewell has not been able to keep pace with Coley in terms of fundraising. Since entering the race in late March, Glidewell has brought in more than $2,000 in contributions and relied on almost $2,200 in loans and $300 through in-kind donations. As of July 20, Glidewell had spent most of what he had raised, going through more than $3,800.
Whoever emerges with the Republican nomination will be the favorite to head to Tallahassee as there are no Democrats in the race. Travis Pitts of Chipley is running in November with no party affiliation. As of July 6, he loaned his campaign $1,200 and spent almost $1,188 of that amount. Eddy Holman of Chipley is also running in the race as a write-in candidate.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.