Our last few weekly newsletters have featured a highlight on tight races in local and state elections in counties that make up the Bay Area Legislative. This is part of a series we are running to inform our clients and contacts of state and local races they should keep their eyes on.
Over the past two weeks we have been focusing on close races for Florida House seats. This week we will be covering close Senate races in the Bay Area Legislative Delegation (BALD). Last year, the Florida Legislature was required to redraw all of the Senate District maps. This eliminated the chances of reelection for some sitting Senators to be reelected while creating new opportunities for newcomers. This is creating some competitive races as many House members are leaving their seats to run for newly created Senate seats.
Election Day will be here sooner than you think. The Florida Primary will be held on August 30, 2016, followed by the general election which will be held on November 8, 2016. We hope you find these highlights informative and useful. If you have any questions or would like more information on particular candidates please feel free to contact us.
Senate District 18
The new District 18 seat encompasses Davis Island, MacDill AFB, Avila, Carrollwood, South Tampa, and Westchase.
Currently, there is only one candidate in the District 18 race. Representative Dana Young has filed to run for the seat as a Republican.
Dana Young (R) is a sixth generation Floridian and was raised in a family that has a proud history of public service. She received a degree in political science from Florida State University and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010. Representative Young served as the Deputy Majority Whip from 2011 to 2012, Deputy Majority leader and Majority Whip from 2012 to 2014, and is currently serving as the Majority Leader. Representative Young sits on the Appropriations Committee and the Joint Budget Conference At Large.
Representative Young did little fundraising last month, only raising $168. However to date she has raised over $264,000.
Senate District 19
The District 19 seat encompasses downtown Tampa, Brandon, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, and South St. Petersburg.
The district 19 seat is new to this election cycle. Running for the seat are three Democrats; Ed Narain, Betty Reed, and Darryl Rouson.
Ed Narain (D) is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He moved to Tampa in 1994 to attend the University of South Florida. There he was elected President of the Student Body from 1997 to 1998, he also partnered with the United Way to develop the first Student driven United Way campaign. Representative Narain is the Minority Ranking Member of the Government Operations Subcommittee, and he sits on the Economic Affairs Committee, Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee, Transportation and Ports Subcommittee, and the Heath Quality Subcommittee. Representative Narain is a member of the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, the Hillsborough County Headstart Policy Council Board and served for several years on the Hillsborough County Community Action Board. He currently works for AT&T.
Betty Reed (D) is a former State Representative and retired teacher who is making a run for the Florida Senate. She was elected to the Florida House in 2006 and was reelected subsequently. In addition to her legislative service she has also served on numerous community boards and councils.
Darryl Rouson (D) was born in New Orleans, and moved to Florida when he was three. He graduated from Xavier University in 1977, and received his law degree from the University of Florida Spessard Holland Law Center in 1979. Representative Rouson was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008 and has been reelected subsequently. His current committee assignments include the Appropriations Committee, Regulatory Affairs Committee, Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Business and Professionals Committee.
Rep. Ed Narain, D-Tampa, added $23,725 in March for a monetary contribution total of $104,060. Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, did not raise money in March but has $45,150 in total monetary contributions. Democrat Betty Reed raised $3,785 in March for a $22,181 total and has $500 in loans.
Senate District 23
The District 23 seat runs along the Coast of Sarasota County from Longboat Key to Venice.
Senator Nancy Detert is stepping down from her Senate Seat to run a local county commission seat. Running for her seat are four Republicans; Greg Steube, Doug Holder, Nora Patterson, and Ray Pilon.
Greg Steube (R) was born and raised in Bradenton, Florida and is a University of Florida graduate. After graduating law school, he joined the U.S. Army and served in the Infantry for over a year and in the U.S. Army JAG Corps for 3 more years. Representative Steube was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010, and has be reelected in 2012 and 2014. He sits as the Chairman of the Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee, Vice Chairman of the Health Quality Subcommittee, and a member of the Health Innovation Subcommittee, House Appropriations Committee, and Economic Affairs Committee.
Doug Holder (R) is a former State Representative who represented Sarasota to the Florida House for eight years. During his time in the House he passed legislation to reduce the burden on Floridians during the 2008 recession by revitalizing Florida’s unemployment compensation system and by lowering property taxes.
Nora Patterson (R) graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Psychology and from The University of Florida with a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. She is a former teacher, small business owner who is well known for her 16 years of service on the Sarasota County Commission which included three years as Chair of the Commission. She also served 8 years on the Sarasota City Commission which included one term as mayor.
Ray Pilon (R) was born in Michigan, and moved to Sarasota in 1975. Representative Pilon had a career in law enforcement and experience in the private sector as an Executive VP for a major cable company, before running for the Sarasota County Commission in 1996. Representative Pilon was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010 and has been reelected subsequently. His current committee assignments include the State Affairs Committee, Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee, and the Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
Doug Holder won the March money race in the crowded Senate District 23 Republican primary, adding $28,250 to his campaign to bring his total monetary contributions to $206,800. Following far behind was Nora Patterson, whose $8,438 in new contributions left her with $100,787 overall. But while he raised only $900 last month, Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has still raised the most money of any candidate so far with $230,205 in total monetary contributions. Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, who switched from running for the House to running for the Senate, has raised $110,731, including $550 in new contributions. Rick Levine, meanwhile, trailed far behind the other candidates, raising $250 last month to bring his total contributions to $3,240.