When Dr. Cindy Banyai announced a couple of weeks ago that she would once again take on Byron Donalds for FL CD 19, I did about 30 minutes of research, and then tossed out the WUFF PAC endorsement process I had carefully laid out in my head, and partially laid out on the website, scheduled a call with her team, then with her, and then with anyone who would climb on and hear her out. Let me explain why.
Cindy, who has advanced degrees in community development, public administration and evaluation, is a single mom, amateur boxer, and social media whiz. She knows her district from the perspective of its Nonprofit sector, with which she has worked extensively. She had me at hello. She’s also on record as to her positions about the issues about which she cares deeply, and I’m satisfied that, when elected, she will fight for Florida families.
She lost the race in 2020 to a deeply flawed candidate, Byron Donalds. But $5Million was spent to prop him up after he won a crowded primary by only about 1,000 votes. By contrast, Cindy, a first-time candidate, surprised everyone but her team by thumping an establishment Democrat in the primary. She did all of this with no help from the Democratic Party, no Emily’s List, no PACs whatsoever, just humans who believed in her. In the general election, she got 50,000 more votes than the Democrats who ran in 2018 and in 2016, and she did it all on social media, spending a little more than $200,000.
Imagine what she and her team can do with 22 months of onramp, and with some real resources? What if she had enough cash to get up on TV for a couple of months before the general, and a month before a primary if necessary? How about some billboards? If all of her small dollar donors could be converted to monthly donors that would be a huge start.
The other advantage she has, is that Donalds has already started to do dumb things, and they will just pile up. Cindy’s team is savvy enough to be keeping a spread sheet that has two columns: Dumb things he voted for (Exhibit A: Overturn the results of a free and fair election hours after an assault on the Capitol) and Good things he voted against (Exhibit A: A Covid Relief Plan that contained the same $15 Minimum Wage his constituents approved by a 60% supermajority a few weeks ago). The twitter posts write themselves.
As for his various legal and character issues, if Cindy’s fundraising starts to look viable, an outside group might take notice and take on the “oppo” piece, so she and her team can stay out of the muck.
Register here if you want to meet Cindy on Friday, February 5 at 10:30 am Here’s the link to our campaign for Cindy. Once it reaches $5k we will send it to her, and she will have her filing fee in hand!