• Longtime Clearwater politician Ed Hooper is running as the Republican candidate. He previously served in the District 67 seat in the Florida House of Representatives from 2006 to 2014, when he had to leave due to term limits. Hooper worked as a firefighter for more than two decades.
  • Amanda Murphy, the Democratic challenger, worked as a financial adviser before she served in the House of Representatives from 2013 to 2016 after winning a special election to replace a Republican House District 36 representative.
  • Florida Senate District 16 covers north Pinellas County and western parts of Pasco county. The District 16 seat has been vacant since December, when powerful Republican politician Jack Latvala resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.


  • Florida Democrats are looking to flip the state Senate from red to blue for the first time since 1992. They currently hold 16 seats, so they’ll need to gain five more to have a majority in the chamber.
  • If elected, Hooper said he would work to improve transportation and expand private flood insurance opportunities.
  • Murphy said she would vote to support environmental protection and funding for public schools.


Click here to read the Tampa Bay Times voter guide, which will give you a breakdown of many of the 2018 races.

Follow @suhaunah for the latest on the SD 16 race.