Ruth’s List Florida backs ‘proven leader’ Katherine Waldron in HD 86 race

Democratic Commissioner of the Port of Palm Beach Katherine waldron got approval on Tuesday from Ruth’s List Florida in her candidacy for Florida House District 86, marking the third time the abortion rights group has supported the longtime Palm Beach County resident.

Waldron, the only woman to run in a four-man race to replace Rep. Matt Willhite next year, is “a proven leader with a deep understanding of the needs of the district,” Ruth’s List Florida Political Director Kayla van wieringen said in a press release announcing the approval.

That said, Waldron’s interests have been shown to extend beyond the boundaries of his district. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which hit Florida and the Caribbean two weeks apart in September 2017, she co-founded Palm Beach County Cares collect and provide supplies and money to rebuild Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The organization has since turned to other benevolent efforts, including providing post-earthquake assistance to Haiti.

Waldron, whose platform prioritizes environmental protection and economic growth, adds support from Ruth’s List Florida to a dozen previous approvals from elected officials, including the representative of the United States. Lois Frankel, State Rep. Michel Caruso and former US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin bernstein, the other co-founder of Palm Beach County Cares.

She was there first democrat to depose this year for the HD 86 race, and she remains the only woman to participate in a four-way competition to take the seat. Willhite has announced that he will be leaving in April for a race at the Palm Beach County Commission.

Other candidates include two fellow Democrats – the former mayor of Wellington Bob Margolis and social worker Seth Densen – and the Republican physician Dr. Saulis Banionis.

Republican Susan kufdakis rivera deposed to run for the seat in January before Willhite announced that he would not be running for another term. However, she campaign site appears not to have been updated since the 2020 election cycle, and the Florida Elections Division do not list her as a candidate for the race.

Florida Politics has contacted Kufdakis Rivera for clarification and will update this story when received.

HD 86 covers part of Palm Beach County, including Wellington, Royal Palms Beach, and Loxahatchee Groves. The district is strongly Democratic, with a double-digit voter registration advantage.

Since submitting his candidacy, Waldron’s campaign has raised $ 37,000, including a $ 10,000 auto loan. Of that amount, she spent $ 17,500 until October 31.

Margolis raised $ 3,400 and spent around $ 12,500 over roughly the same time period. Densen, who entered the race in September, spent half of the $ 4,000 he raised.

Banionis has not yet filed a report with the state on any contribution or expense.

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