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Mike Beltran maintains lead in Florida House District 57 race

The district spans much of southern Hillsborough County.
State Rep. Mike Beltran of Florida House District 57 won re-election Tuesday. | [Courtesy of Florida House of Representatives]
State Rep. Mike Beltran of Florida House District 57 won re-election Tuesday. | [Courtesy of Florida House of Representatives] [ Courtesy of Florida House of Representatives ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020|Updated Nov. 4, 2020

Mike Beltran (R-Lithia) will retain his seat in the Florida House after defeating Democratic challenger Scott Christopher Hottenstein with 55 percent of the vote.

The district spans much of southern Hillsborough County and has historically leaned Republican.

Beltran, 36, has served in the state Legislature since 2018 and ran on a platform of boosting teacher pay and diminishing government waste and medical costs.

The Harvard Law School graduate said he would tackle the economic effects of the coronavirus by rounding up federal aid and reopening businesses.

“We must identify savings wherever possible with a strong emphasis on waste, fraud and abuse,” he said.

He would not, he said, rely on tax increases, because of the financial difficulty that consumers and businesses are already facing. During the early stages of the pandemic, Beltran was critical of Hillsborough County’s curfew and said the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, which marshaled the county’s pandemic response, should be disbanded, and it eventually was.

Beltran said he would not make any changes to the way Amendment 4 was implemented. The 2018 ballot initiative restored most felons' voting rights, but the implementation requires them to pay all court fees, restitution and fines before they are able to vote. Critics say this is a “poll tax.”

Beltran has received $152,191 in campaign contributions.

His opponent, Hottenstein, focused his platform on cutting corporate tax credits and expanding Medicaid. Hottenstein was a 2019 finalist for teacher of the year and lost his race for Hillsborough County School Board in 2018.

The Hillsborough County teacher and retired Navy lieutenant commander said he would do away with the corporate tax credit to soften the economic burden on the state. The $500 million Florida could save through this, he said, would be “invested into people” and inspire an examination of any existing tax loopholes.

“Everyone should pay their fair share,” Hottenstein, 49, said.

Hottenstein also supported Medicaid expansion, saying that while it would likely cost about $500 million over the course of five years, the federal funds it would bring in would reduce the costs of other areas of the budget.

Hottenstein said that the legislation implementing Amendment 4 “should be repealed in its entirety,” as the amendment stands for itself.

He received $33,238 in campaign contributions.

The two-year position pays an annual salary of $29,697.

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