The race for Congressional District 15 in east Hillsborough, Polk and Lake counties wasn't all that close — Republican Ross Spano beat Democrat Kristen Carlson by 6 points — but Democrats still think they could have a shot at the district in 2020.
At least three are eying the seat: Carlson; her Democratic primary opponent Andrew Learned; and Bob Doyel, who lost in a challenge to Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
Doyel, a retired Polk County judge, said he intends to stay involved in politics and the race "is one of the many things I might do. Somebody's going to run. We'll field a good candidate — I just don't know who it will be."
Carlson said she expects to decide after the beginning of the year, and thinks her loss was in part the result of a late start — she didn't enter the race until former Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, announced his resignation in April.
Questions that arose over potential Spano campaign violations in this election also could affect the 2020 race, she said.
Learned, a favorite of the progressive side of the party, said supporters are trying to convince him to run again, and, "I'm keeping my options open. It's too soon to decide."