|State Representative Mark Pafford visits with GREY2K USA
Meanwhile, greyhound breeders had a tough night. Most notably, candidate Rachel Burgin lost by a big margin to former State Senate President Tom Lee. Two years ago Burgin voted against greyhound decoupling as a member of the State House of Representatives, while Lee is a former GREY2K USA Leadership Award recipient.
Greyhound breeder lobbyist Jack Cory campaigned hard for Burgin, and even mailed an outrageous smear ad to voters in the district attacking Senator Lee's family. This smear was so out of bounds that one of the groups that donated to Jack Cory's Political Action Committee told the Tampa Bay Times that they wanted their money back. The mailing also resulted in a formal complaint to the Florida Elections Commission, which in part claimed that the mailing was paid for by payments to a "vendor that appears to be fictitious."
These primary night victories are wonderful news for greyhound advocates. Greyhound protection is a mainstream issue, and now has more support in the Florida legislature than ever before. With that in mind, I am hopeful that we will see significant legislative progress for the dogs in the years ahead.