It's Bill Gunter v. Amanda Murphy in special Fla House race
Republican pastor Bill Gunter tonight easily won the Republican primary to succeed Mike Fasano in Pasco County's House District 36, against Pasco GOP Chairman James Mathieu and political newcomer Jeromy Harding. No big surprise, considering the GOP House leadership backed Gunter, who is the pastor of future House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
From the Republican Party of Florida:
Chairman Lenny Curry and Speaker Designate Steve Crisafulli congratulated Bill Gunter on winning the Republican nomination in the special primary in Florida House District 36.
Bill Gunter is a proud husband and father of two who currently serves as pastor of his New Port Richey congregation, Redeemer Community Church. He is a graduate of the University of Florida where he was a starting defensive lineman.
"I congratulate Bill Gunter on his strong victory tonight. Bill's history of serving others and his understanding of the needs of the middle class and working families make him best suited to be the next representative from District 36. I look forward to helping his campaign and serving with him in the Florida House of Representatives," said Crisafulli.
"I am proud that Bill Gunter received his party's nomination tonight. Bill understands the constituents of District 36 and is a real leader in his community. I know that he will represent our party well in the general election, and I look forward to seeing him elected to the Florida House of Representatives. The Republican Party of Florida looks forward to helping Bill secure a victory next month," said Curry.
The HD 36 special general election will be held on October 15. House District 36 covers portions of Pasco county. Registered Republicans make up approximately 34% of the registered voters with Democrats accounting for 37%. Mitt Romney received 47% in District 36 in 2012 with Rick Scott receiving 48% and John McCain at 47% in their respective races. A special election for House District 36 was required after Representative Mike Fasano was appointed Pasco County Tax Collector by Governor Rick Scott.
From the Florida Democratic party:
With the election results in Pasco County, the voters of House District 36 have a clear choice: Amanda Murphy, a businesswoman who will be an independent voice for Pasco County, or Bill Gunter, a politician hand-picked by party leadership who is bought and paid for by well-connected lobbyists who do not have Pasco County's best interest in mind.
Amanda Murphy is a businesswoman who knows how to spur job creation and will be an independent voice for Pasco County. Over the past few weeks, she has built a grassroots campaign that has already reached tens of thousands of District 36 voters.
"Bill Gunter is the textbook example of a politician who's bought and paid for by the wealthy Tallahassee interests," said Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant. "Only a paltry 5% of Bill Gunter's campaign cash came from Pasco County, and he has raised more money from outside the state of Florida than he has from people in the district he is trying to represent. Amanda Murphy will represent Pasco County as a strong and independent voice committed to creating jobs and investing in education."
Fasano had this to say:
Congratulations to both Amanda Murphy and Bill Gunter. I wish them both well in the upcoming October general election. I would ask them to put the people of Pasco first and not the special interest of Tallahassee or the leadership of their respective party. I would also ask that they run on their own merits and not use my name in their mailers and/or Tv. commercials.