Surprise! Dems Bow Out of Senate District 17 Race
The Republican primary in state Senate District 17, which encompasses Hillsborough and Pasco counties, will remain closed despite the exit last week of the lone Democratic candidate in the race.
Wes Johnson dropped out Aug. 1 and was not replaced by another standard bearer within the allotted seven days. As such, the GOP primary winner will face only write-in opposition.
The Republican field includes John Korsak, John Legg and Rob Wallace.
Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan said Friday the party believes the primary should be open now that only a single party is fielding candidates.
“We think the law is pretty clear and we are going to consider our options,” Jordan said. Located north of Tampa, the district is heavily weighted toward Republican candidates.
In 2010, Gov. Rick Scott defeated Democrat challenger Alex Sink by more than 7 percentage points.
“Many ballots have already been cast in this contest through absentee and early voting,” said Division of Election spokesman Chris Cate. “The Florida Election Code does not require or authorize these validly-cast votes to be disregarded under these circumstances. The Division of Elections does not intend to amend the ballot certification for this race.”