Senate candidates speak on a report that FPL used “dark money” to influence a previous election

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:11 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Utility provider Florida Power and Light is accused of election tampering and supporting candidates in order to split the vote in a Gainesville senate race. The Miami Herald’s report details how FPL supported Charles Goston in the 2018 state senate race.

It was said that Goston didn’t have the support of the democratic party in Gainesville so he decided to run as an independent against Republican incumbent Keith Perry and democrat Kayser Enneking.

“You had a guy that wanted to be involved in the political system wasn’t treated fairly by the democratic executive committee of Alachua County and said I want to run as an independent and that’s what he did. He was able to raise money through sources that every politician running for a state would have that same opportunity to raise money,” said Perry.

But a document shows that FPL made a last-minute donation of more than $200,000 to Goston’s campaign through a non-profit called Broken Promises making their involvement hidden.

Democratic candidate Enneking lost the race to Perry by 2,000 votes and Goston received 4,300 votes himself.

Related Story: REPORT: FPL used “dark money” to influence Florida Senate race in Gainesville

“I am disappointed that senator Perry has continued to say hey I didn’t have anything to do with this. we know there was on some level some knowledge of this,” said Enneking.

Both Perry and Enneking gave their thoughts on whether legislation is necessary against “dark money”.

“It is certainly a problem and an issue and I think it needs to be addressed. I would love to see it addressed and get some of this money out it’s just too expensive,” said Perry.

Enneking believes that it starts with the people who are in charge.

“The true answer to that is it’s not going to happen in Florida where one party is in power like it has been for the last 20 years. They’re not going to vote to regulate themselves that way.”

Florida Power and Light Chief Communications Officer David Reuter said in an emailed statement that documents cited in the news reports were “both an inaccurate and misleading representation of our actions.”

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