BROOKSVILLE — As expected, U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent cruised to victory and a second term Tuesday.
The Spring Hill Republican garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in his contest against Democrat H. David Werder, a disabled truck driver and perennial candidate making his seventh bid for Congress.
Nugent said he was honored by the overwhelming support.
"We can't lose sight of the fact that people sent us up to do a job to try to turn around where we're going as a country," he said.
Werder, of Spring Hill, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Elected during a wave of tea party discontent, Nugent toed the GOP line during his first term, voting with party leaders 96 percent of the time, according to the nonpartisan website opencongress.org.
As he sought re-election, the former Hernando County sheriff was the beneficiary of a redistricting process that pared down the sprawling 5th District that his predecessor Ginny Brown-Waite represented for eight years.
The new District 11 — composed of all of Hernando, Citrus and Sumter counties and a portion of Marion — no longer includes Pasco County. That headed off a potential match-up between Nugent and outgoing state Sen. Mike Fasano. Then Rep. Cliff Stearns, an Ocala Republican, opted to run in another district. That left Nugent without a GOP primary challenger in a Republican-leaning district.
Werder, who raised no money, was the only Democrat to file.
Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected]