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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No Democratic primary in HD44



BROOKSVILLE -- Democrats can't wait to take on Robert Schenck in House District 44, but first it looked like they would have to battle in a primary .

That changed Friday when Democrat Aaron Whitaker, a 32-year-old Hernando school district employee, failed to qualify for the ballot. It leaves Democrat Joseph Puglia, 41, as the lone major-party challenger to the Republican incumbent. (Read earlier post about surprise Green Party candidate.)

Whitaker, who filed papers of intent in October, was blindsided earlier this month when the state party and Hernando party Chairman Jay Rowden through their support behind Puglia, a former New York cop who owns a small business in Brooksville. But he said just earlier this month he planned to stay in the race. He couldn't be reached for comment Friday.

--John Frank, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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