Sanchez withdraws from state House District 51 race
Republican Terry Sanchez has withdrawn from the race for state House District 51 against incumbent Democrat Janet Long.
The Republican Party of Florida informed state elections officials of Sanchez's decision Monday in a short letter that was copied to Pinellas Elections Commissioner Deborah Clark. The letter offered no explanation for Sanchez's decision. The Republican Party has the right under state elections laws to choose a replacement, but it is unclear whether the party will choose to do so.
Earlier this year, the race for District 51 was touted as one to watch, with Republicans eager to regain the seat they lost to Long by 561 votes two years ago. But the race has had its twists and turns.
Long expected to face Republican Bruce Cotton, who announced at one point that he had enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. But when the late June qualification deadline rolled around, Cotton had not qualified and Sanchez, an unknown, had become the Republican candidate. Sanchez had signed up to run on June 16, just days before the deadline. Cotton declined at the time to comment, and Sanchez could not be reached for comment.
District 51 winds through Pinellas County, covering Seminole and parts of Pinellas Park, Largo, South Pasadena and a sliver of the west Lealman area.
Anne Lindberg, Times staff writer