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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Frank Frakas tops Daryle Hamel in House District 68



 Political veteran Frank Farkas will be the Republican candidate for state House District 68 after beating a political newcomer.

Farkas topped Daryle Hamel by winning 75 percent of the 10,309 votes  cast in the district covering much of northeast St. Petersburg and eastern Pinellas Park.

Farkas, who was elected to the state House in 1998 and re-elected in 2000, 2002 and 2004, said he operated his campaign like an underdog and didn’t anything for granted.

“I’m honored with the support we got,” he said. “It’s onward to the general (election).”

In November’s election, Farkas will face two St. Petersburg attorneys, Democrat Dwight Dudley and independent Matt Weidner. Dudley has about $38,000 in his campaign account; Weidner has $66.

Farkas, who founded the Farkas Chiropractic Clinic and reports a net worth of $3.5 million, raised $78,626 between June 6 and Aug. 9 and spent $19,209 in the same period.

State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

Hamel, a manager at an automotive dealer, raised $779 and loaned his campaign $3,000. He acknowledged the difficulty of being new to Florida politics and not having connections to donors in Tallahassee. Hamel expected party insiders to vote for Farkas since he has experience in a general election.

“When on the street, people said they preferred me,” Hamel said. “I’ve given my best.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:15pm]


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