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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rachel Burgin has a primary opponent



State House Rep. Rachel Burgin will have an opponent in the Republican primary in 2010. Lithia dentist Marc Johnson, 40, has filed to run for the District 56 seat.

Johnson said he decided to run because he didn't like the way the Hillsborough County Republican Party chose Burgin to run for the seat in 2008, when Trey Traviesa abruptly chose not to seek re-election. The timing of his resignation meant Burgin, Traviesa's legislative aide, wouldn't have to deal with a primary. Republican voters in the GOP-leaning district deserve a choice, Johnson said.

"I was a little bit disheartened when she was picked as our leader," Johnson said. He added that Burgin, a 27-year-old student, doesn't have the right experience to represent the families in the district. "I just don't know if she has the same mindset or frame of reference," said Johnson, who is married and has two children.

Sandy Murman, who held the post before Traveisa, had considered trying to win back the seat in 2010. Johnson said he checked in with Murman before making his decision. A newcomer to politics, he describes his views as "middle right." "I have pretty conservative values. But I wouldn't consider myself a radical," he said.

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:20pm]


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