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Florida House 64 results: Jessica Harrington concedes to James Grant

The battleground is an area of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties where rural lifestyles are being threatened by urban sprawl.

The Latest

  • With 37 of 39 precincts reporting, Republican James Grant leads Democrat Jessica Harrington by nearly 4,000 votes. Independent Andy Warrener is a distant third.
  • The reported results constitute slightly more than 52,000 votes in the race.
  • More election results: Check out the Tampa Bay Times results page.

TAMPA — With a few precinct results still coming in late Tuesday, Democratic challenger Jessica Harrington conceded the Florida House District 64 race to Republican incumbent James Grant.

Grant, R-Tampa, defeated Harrington 52 percent to 44 percent. Independent Andy Warrener was in distant third with almost 3 percent of the vote.

The battleground was an area of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties where rural lifestyles are being threatened by urban sprawl.

Grant, 35, who was hosting an election night watch party at Maple Street Biscuit Company in Tampa, did not respond to request for comment.

During the campaign, Grant, vowed to cut taxes and "burdensome" regulations; supports a "zero tolerance" policy of sexual harassment against legislators; defend the Second Amendment; reform occupational licensing; and invest in workforce development.

Grant is an attorney who was first elected to the state House in 2010, was easily reelected in 2012 and 2014 and then ran unopposed in 2016. The Stetson Law graduate and tech entrepreneur easily clinched the Republican nomination against first-time candidate Terry Power.

Grant was co-founder of the health care IT company CareSync, which unexpectedly shut down in late June, leaving 292 employees in Tampa and Wauchula in the lurch.

Grant raised $287,827 during the campaign, according to finance records.

Harrington, 34, is a Hillsborough County middle school social studies teacher. She founded the ocean advocacy group Straw Free Florida and works with children in South America through the University of Florida's nonprofit branch of Children Beyond Our Borders.

Harrington conceded in a Facebook post late Tuesday.

"I entered this race last minute because there was no Democratic candidate," Harrington wrote in a Facebook post. "I was teaching middle school full time while trying to run this campaign. But I will never regret my decision to stand up and do what is right."

Reached by phone, Harrington vowed to continue to fight for education.

"I think this election was so partisan and voters didn't stop to think who or what they were voting for," Harrington said. "It's upsetting, but I will continue to fight for education and I will continue to fight for public schools.

Florida House District 64 covers a swath of northwest Hillsborough and northeast Pinellas counties, including Carrollwood, Citrus Park, Oldsmar and Safety Harbor. State representatives serve two-year terms and earn $29,697 a year.

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.