A Race For The Ages: Trumper With Pro-Environment Bend And Polluters’ Money Toby Overdorf Vs. BullSugar’s Matt Theobald In Treasure Coast’s HD 83

by | Sep 4, 2018

Tuesdays’ primaries in Florida State House District 83 set up a general elections battle between a Donald Trump Republican who takes money from special interests and developers while making the environment his number one priority, and a Democrat backed by environmentalists.
Confusing?
Nah! There are big differences between GOP stalwart Toby Overdorf, who bested fellow Republican Sasha Dadan with 54 percent of the votes, and Democrat Matt Theobald, who had no primary opponent.
Overdorf raised more than $140,000 for the primary and practically spent it all in the dog fight for the hearts and minds of Conservative voters for the seat left vacant by Gayle Harrell. It covers parts of well-to-do Port St. Lucie, Jensen Beach and Stuart.
According to the local press, Overdorf’s pro-environment stance as well as his background in environmental sciences and his clean-water policies got him over the edge in the primary. 
Thing is, Overdorf won thanks to tens of thousands in donations from special interests whose lists of priorities don’t really include the environment or clean water.
Some donors, including Overdorf’s numerous sugar daddies and mommies in the agriculture business, are often blamed for contributing to the algae bloom threatening the Stuart area.
And as if that weren’t insidious enough, Overdorf even took $1,000 from a North Carolina tobacco company, according to this campaign’s filing. The donor was identified as RAI Services Company, the parent company of tobacco products manufacturers RJ Reynolds and America Snuff Co.
Consider these other gifts to Overdorf’s campaign: $1,000 from the Associated Builders and Contractors, a commercial construction PAC; $1,000 from CARPAC, the political arm of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association; $1,000 from the Consolidated Citrus Limited Partnership, Central Florida citrus producers mostly owned by King Ranch; $500 from the agricultural group DM PAC; $1,000 from North Carolina electric company Duke Energy; and $1,000 from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.
Incidentally, Overdorf’s campaign even cashed a $1,000 check from Friends of Mark Foley For Congress. Former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley resigned in 2006 after sexy text-messages he dropped on congressional male pages surfaced. Foley, however, got to keep nearly $1 million in campaign contributions earmarked for the 2006 campaign, and he’s been known to pepper some of his stash into local political campaigns.
In the blue corner, meanwhile, fishing aficionado and school teacher Matt Theobald enjoyed a free ride in the primary.
A high school teacher who lives in Jensen Beach, he raised $12,000 and used just $3,200 since he had no primary opponent.
But Theobald is expected to garner the support of the Stuart-based environmental group BullSugar and Miami’s Everglades Foundation, among other clean water non-profits.
While Theobald didn’t respond to a request for an interview, Overdorf emailed a statement about his upcoming general election campaign and his biggest priority, the cleanup of waterways through less polluted Lake Okeechobee runoff.
“I don’t know his (Theobald’s) approach, but mine is founded in a lifetime of school and career based education dealing with estuaries and ecosystems, and maintaining their health,” Overdorf wrote. “Not only can I contribute to the solution, I can identify the issues and match them with the right people and processes to help reverse the phosphorous and nitrogen levels.”

2 Comments

  1. Charles Grande

    Overdorf must be kidding. He represents, and is a spokesperson for, Sunbreak Farms who are proposing to spread nutrient loaded human solid waste (biosolids)on hundreds of acres that run off and drain into the Indian River Lagoon and the St Lucie River – both suffering from toxic blue-green algae. They are also proposing to spread biosolid based nutrient rich stuff on 7,000 acres that also drain into these endangered waterways. He is the go to guy for speculators, developers and agricultural interests who need help getting support and permits for the very worst projects with the very worst environmental impacts. Overdorf supports pollution and degradation. On the other hand, Theobald is a bright young man who is running to help clean up our waterways and protect our fragile environment.

    Reply
  2. Ole Anderson

    Overlord is a tool of the worst polluters in the State. He is the exact opposite of who we should be sending to Tallahassee to sort this algae mess out and finally do the will of the Citizens of Florida.
    We need to get this right or the water supply in S Florida May be beyond redemption or repair.
    No to Overdorf and his pack of corporate polluters.

    Reply

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