CLEARWATER — Ed Hooper, a Republican incumbent and a well-known political figure in Clearwater, cruised to a comfortable victory Tuesday night in the District 50 Florida House race.
Hooper, 63, defeated Democratic challenger Shelly Leonard, 37, to win a third term in the Clearwater-based district, which includes parts of Largo and Safety Harbor.
Hooper won about 60 percent of the vote, and Leonard 40 percent.
"I'm thankful to the voters of District 50, who really do know what I do to try to represent the district," Hooper said, noting that the district has more registered Democrats than Republicans.
His priorities for his next term are jobs, schools, affordable property insurance and tougher immigration laws.
He had an overwhelming fundraising advantage over his opponent, raising more than 100 times as much campaign money. Hooper raised $126,500, while Leonard raised $1,165. Before entering the House, Hooper was a Clearwater city commissioner and a longtime Clearwater firefighter.