As the end of the election cycle approaches, robo-text messages start hitting voters cell phones. Early on, most messages are asking for support and donations from candidate campaigns themselves. However, the closer election day gets, the nastier messages start to appear. Brevard County is very familiar with such messages.
Over the last few days, residents have been posting screenshots of texts they’ve received that are bashing political opponents with often misleading, or even false information. Frustrated voters that are tired of receiving such messages often find out that there’s not much they can do to stop from getting them in the future. The messages are most likely received from a temporary number or code used exclusively to send the message out.
The most recent messages Brevard voters have received however, have the legal disclaimer at the end of the message identifying who paid for the text. We are aware of at least 3 cases in the last couple of days. Messages have gone out against School Board Candidate Gene Trent, State Representative Randy Fine, and Palm Bay Deputy Mayor Kenny Johnson.
The messages (which we will not publish) against Gene Trent and Randy Fine came from the same organization. The Elections Communications Organization (ECO) “Elections Matter FL” sent out messages today attacking both Trent and Fine. According to public records, the ECO is ran by Andrew Dodge. Andrew is the husband of Danelle Dodge, who ran for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Congress District 8. She was defeated in the primary election. Paperwork filed with the Florida Division of Elections shows that Andrew attempted to start the ECO in September but the application was rejected for being incomplete and on the wrong form. It officially started on October 7, 2022 and has raised $250 according to its most recent reports.