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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Shocker: Jeff Brandes wins re-election after "opponent" drops out



On Sunday, Alexander Johnson wrote a one-sentence letter to the Florida Division of Elections. It said that he was withdrawing from the District 24 state senate race.

His isn't a household name. Johnson, 23, was a write-in candidate for the seat held by incumbent Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. With no other opposition, that means Brandes cruises to an easy and predicted victory.

Brandes, 40, a St. Petersburg native, was elected to the Florida House in 2010, defeating Democrat Bill Heller, and served just one term. He ran successfully for the Florida Senate in 2012 and was reelected in 2014. District 24 includes parts of South Tampa and south Pinellas.

Like all write-in candidates, who have never won any election in Florida history, Johnson was publicity shy. He didn't raise money. He didn't campaign. And he hung up on this reporter when asked about whether he dropped out.


[Last modified: Wednesday, October 5, 2016 12:58pm]


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