Feb. 23 – Florida’s 58th House District
After their respective party primaries, the two major parties have been pretty quiet in this West Tampa special election. Regarded as a heavily Democratic district, the brutal battle seems to have been fought in the Democratic primary where Janet Cruz defeated her two opponents to take the nomination. Yet Republican Hunter Chamberlin can pin his hopes on the unpredictability that comes with special elections. Few voters took the time to come out to the polls in the primary and it is up to both nominees to get their supporters to vote on February 23.
This election is being held to replace Democrat Michael Sciotini who resigned his seat to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Obama White House.
Cruz has already noted that she cannot take the election for granted. A Democratic activist in the area who has not held elected office before, she won the nomination by 58 votes in an acrimonious primary. She also is learning from history – this district was actually won by a Republican in a 1997 special election quite similar to this one and she does not want history to repeat itself. Hunter Chamberlin, a Tampa attorney, will do everything in his power to replicate the feat.