for Florida House
In 2012, first-time candidate and local attorney Dwight Dudley won a seat in the Florida House, representing much of St. Petersburg and eastern Pinellas County. In 2014, he faced two major challenges: a less-friendly electorate and a well-funded opponent with much higher name recognition that had been built up by his father, Congressman Bill Young. The benchmark poll in August showed Billy Young with much higher favorability rating and Dudley losing the head to head by 5%.
MSC devised a targeted program that focused attention on Dwight’s record of leading the fight against Duke Energy’s “utility tax” that forced Pinellas County families to pay for power plants that were never built. We also had to ensure that voters did not confuse “Billy” Young with his late father. Therefore our mail program made it crystal clear to voters that this Bill Young was not the one they elected to 20 terms in Congress, instead this Bill Young is “the wrong Bill Young and wrong for Pinellas”. MSC also used every mail piece to directly link Billy Young to the immensely-unpopular energy company through massive contributions that Duke made to Young’s campaign and the Republican Party of Florida.
With so much of the vote in Pinellas County coming through the mail, our team built a custom likely vote universe and ensured that our mail was delivered where the Supervisor of Elections was sending voters’ ballots – not just where voters were registered. In the end, 55% of the total votes in the race came in by mail and Dwight took 53% of those votes.
In the end, Dwight won re-election with a 6 point margin, and will be rejoining the Florida House as a powerful voice for consumers across the state.