Thursday, May 24, 2018
Politics

Ed Narain wins District 61 state House race

TAMPA — Ed Narain, an area manager for AT&T and former student body president at the University of South Florida, beat out three other Democratic candidates vying Tuesday to replace state Rep. Betty Reed in House District 61.

Though he faces a write-in candidate in November, the primary results have almost certainly ushered Narain, 37, into the Legislature as the next representative from District 61. He claimed about 41 percent of the votes, while Sean Shaw, a Tallahassee-backed lawyer, came in second with 35 percent.

Shaw, who raised $82,000 more than Narain in campaign donations, was unable to turn his financial advantage into enough votes. This is the second time the son of retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Leander Shaw has lost an election for the Florida House of Representatives. The first was in 2008 in Tallahassee.

Reed, D-Tampa, who is stepping down after representing the heavily Democratic district for eight years, endorsed Narain several weeks before Tuesday's primary. Reed said she backed him because of their shared concerns for the area, as well as his "community roots" and "servant heart."

Reed said Tuesday night that she is very comfortable handing leadership of the district, which covers Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights and Temple Crest, to Narain.

"I really believe he will do a good job for our District 61 and for the state of Florida," Reed said. "I feel that he is a person that will listen to what you are saying. He is a hard worker, and you can trust him to do what he says he is going to do."

Narain spent Tuesday bouncing between polling sites and shaking hands with voters. He celebrated with family, friends and supporters at the Columbia Restaurant as the results came in.

"We're ecstatic," he said. "I think we put out a really strong message about working together. That's what my victory speech was about and that's what we saw across the community."

Narain is a member of several community organizations, including the Children's Board of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Head Start Policy Council Board. He earned his law degree from Stetson University in 2013, and he has a master's in business and a bachelor's degree from Saint Leo University.

He said his top priority in the Legislature would be working to reduce unemployment within the district and increase funding for job training programs.

"It's one of the things that Rep. Reed was working toward, really getting some economic incubators in our district," Narain said. "That's something I'm going to continue to work for."

Narain also defeated Sharon Carter and Tatiana Denson.

Carter, a lifelong Tampa resident, based her campaign on making education a priority in the Legislature. She received nearly 16 percent of the vote. This was Denson's second time running in the Democratic primary for District 61.

Contact Caitlin Johnston at [email protected] or (813) 661-2443. Follow @cljohnst.

Comments
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Updated: 7 hours ago
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18
Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

WASHINGTON - The Senate Intelligence Committee moved Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel for CIA director, setting up a floor vote that her opponents say will signal to the world whether the United States condemns or condones torture.The committee vot...
Published: 05/16/18