ST. PETERSBURG — Democratic incumbent Darryl Rouson handily won his party's primary Tuesday night for the District 55 seat in the Florida House of Representatives.
Rouson took 74 percent of the vote in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties, winning more than 7,000 votes.
"I'm extremely humbled that the voters have again allowed me the privilege and the opportunity to serve them in Tallahassee," Rouson said. "I'm going to continue to work hard, to fight for benefits for my district and to try and represent the citizenry of the entire state."
The win virtually guarantees re-election for Rouson, who was first elected to the seat in a 2008 special election. He faces a little known write-in candidate in the Nov. 2 general election.
Pinellas County carried the St. Petersburg native to victory. Rouson won 78 percent of the Pinellas vote, or 5,558 votes. Challenger April Sheffield had 1,553 votes, or 22 percent.
Rouson, 55, is a father of seven and longtime Pinellas attorney. He touted his credentials as an experienced lawmaker who can get things done with the Republican majority.
Sheffield, 43, a longtime social worker and health care advocate from Sarasota, was making her first run at statewide office. She criticized Rouson for ignoring Sarasota and Manatee counties.
District 55 encompasses southern Pinellas and Hillsborough counties and parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties.