Former Republican state Rep. Bill Galvano has picked up a Democratic opponent, Paula House, of Lake Placid, in the newly-created Florida Senate District 26, according to the Florida Division of Elections’ website.
Galvano, 46, a Bradenton attorney, served eight years in the Florida House but could not run for re-election in 2012 because of term limits.
“I really, really don’t know who she is, we’re going to continue to run a campaign like we have been,” Galvano said Friday. “This is an important year, we believe our platform is what’s necessary to bring economic prosperity back to the area, especially since our district encompasses so much.”
Galvano said 60 percent-plus of his newly-drawn district is in Manatee County, adding, “I’m very strong in Manatee, I’ve represented the area eight years.”
The district also covers a small percentage of southern Hillsborough, all of DeSoto, Hardee, and Glades counties, and parts of Charlotte and Highlands counties.
His Democratic opponent, said she, too, is an attorney, and that the Senate race is her first try at elected office.
“I’m real excited because this is a wonderful area of the countryside; the connection I think between Glades, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands County are just so clear in terms of open spaces and farming and ranching interests, it will be interesting to see how they mesh with the coastal interests, which I am anxious to learn more about.”
“This new district is a fun challenge,” added House, 62, who said she has been a prosecutor, worked at the state Department of Education, and is a former public school teacher and a big supporter of public education.
“I’m looking to be a representative, and as a representative, I think you need to get to know the concerns of the people in your district, and what their issues are,” she added.
“No matter where you are, I think you’re at risk if you don’t get that,” she said.
In other races, state Reps. Jim Boyd and Greg Steube, both R-Bradenton, both have opponents: Boyd is facing Democrat Adam Tebrugge in District 71, while Steube’s opponent is Bob McCann, listing No Party Affiliation, in the Florida House of Representatives’ District 73.
In another district that includes part of Manatee County, Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, is running unopposed.
In Sarasota, Republican state Rep. Doug Holder will face Democrat Andrew Saltman in House District 74.
Republican Ray Pilon will face two opponents, Democrat Liz Alpert; and Write In candidate Jan Douglas Legacy, in House District 72.