The latest:

State Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, won her first election to the Florida House of Representatives two years ago in a squeaker over then-incumbent Amanda Murphy.

On Tuesday, she cruised to re-election in a no-doubt fashion over Democrat Linda Jack. Mariano collected nearly 59 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns.

“You know, I  didn’t know what to expect. I mean it’s just surreal. It’s not a complete surprise, because the polls looked pretty good, but last time they had me down 12 points. I didn’t want to believe it until I saw it,” Mariano said.
She attributed the victory to an aggressive door-to-door campaign and then sending hand-written notes to every person who opened their doors.

“It was probably close to 10,000 notes, and that’s how many votes I won by,” she said.

Mariano, 23, the daughter of Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, said during the campaign her top legislative priority for 2019 would be a local bill allowing Pasco to finance canal dredging through higher boat registration fees.

Jack, a veterinarian and former professional musician and music teacher, focused on a platform of better funding for public education, improved coastal quality and expanding health care coverage.

The boat fee issues, Jack said, showed Mariano to be out of touch with more imperative issues confronting the west Pasco district.

During the campaign, she lamented the ongoing and time-consuming chore of working the telephone to solicit contributions instead of having more time for face-to-face voter interaction.

She raised more than $75,000, but Mariano received more than $237,000. District 36 covers western Pasco County from the coast to  approximately Little Road.

Jack said she visited more than a dozen precincts Tuesday.
“The whole reason you run is to talk to people and today was the day to enjoy doing it,’’ she said.

For national and statewide election results check out The Buzz

For local election results check out the Bay Buzz

For school board election results check out The Gradebook.