Tea Party could be pivotal in three-way contest to replace U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam
The race to succeed U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, a five-term Republican running for state Agriculture Commissioner, has been sleepy so far, without the aggressive fundraising and campaigning of other competitive Florida Congressional districts.
But the district will likely see plenty of drama as Election Day draws near.
Three frontrunners — a Republican, a Democrat and a Tea Party candidate — are vying to represent the sprawling, heavily agricultural region, which runs from the Hillsborough County's Brandon suburbs to the outskirts of Orlando.
The contest could hinge on whether Randy Wilkinson, running under the Tea Party banner, splits the Republican vote with GOP frontrunner Dennis Ross, allowing Democratic favorite Lori Edwards or perhaps 2008 Democratic nominee Doug Tudor to pull out a victory.
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