Neil Combee of Polk City, who recently resigned from the Florida House of Representatives to take a federal agriculture position, has announced he is running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Dennis Ross. Other announced candidates for the GOP nomination include Loretta Miller of Clermont, Danny Kushmer of Brandon, Ed Shoemaker of Lakeland and Florida Rep. Ross Spano of Dover.
Updating Thursday’s post about which local Republicans will be running for the local U.S. House seat now that incumbent Dennis Ross has announced he’s not seeing re-election: State Sen. Kelli Stargel of Lakeland and state Rep. Ben Albritton of Wauchula say they’re not running, but former state Rep. Neil Combee of Polk City hints on Facebook he might run.
Dennis Ross’ surprise announcement that he’s not seeking re-election opens speculation about which Republicans will decide to seek their party’s nomination for the District 15 seat.
Michael Maguire analyzes spending in last year’s city of Lakeland elections in his blog, The City Zen Ship, and concludes that money didn’t always dictate the outcome. If money had been the deciding factor, he notes, Jorge Fonseca would have been in a runoff with Larry Durrence for the southwest seat on the City Commission instead of Michael Dunn. Instead, Dunn made it into the runoff and, with a supercharged fund-raising effort in the final sprint, was able to get elected.
Florida Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican, said during floor debate Saturday: “When we say ‘thoughts and prayers,’ it’s frowned upon. And I take real offense at that because thoughts and prayers are really the only thing that’s gonna stop the evil from within the individual who is taking up their arms to do this kind of a massacre.” Read more on The Buzz, a Tampa Bay Times blog.
Republican voters in a district that’s mostly north and east of Lakeland city limits selected Josie Tomkow, a 22-year-old recent University of Florida graduate, as their candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 39. She amassed 64 percent of the vote in her race against Jennifer Spath, a 34-year-old former prosecutor, outpolling her 4,314 votes to 2,471. Tomkow faces Democrat Ricky Shirah, 64, in a May 1 special election.
The battle of unflattering political postcards persists in the Republican primary for Florida House District 39. In public appearances, both young candidates come off as poised peddlers of their conservative credentials. But mailers last month portrayed one candidate as an immature partier who lives outside the district. A new set of mailers depicts the other candidate, a former prosecutor, as a Hillary-loving liberal who’s soft on crime.
Until recently, the campaign for the Republican nomination to succeed Neil Combee in the Florida House of Representatives seemed a battle between two young women trying to outdo each other’s conservative credentials. It just turned personal with a mailer (image) from Jennifer Spath questioning Josie Tomkow‘s youth, temperament and residency.