Lawrence McClure (R-Dover) secured his third win for Florida House District 58, defeating his Democratic opponent Cleo L. “CL” Townsend Jr. with 60 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.
The district includes much of northeast Hillsborough County, including Plant City and Thonotosassa.
McClure, 33, has held office since 2018. He was first elected to the position in a 2017 special election and operates a Tampa environmental consulting and cleanup firm.
His platform focused on securing more CARES Act funding and distributing it more widely.
“(If) we have the ability to use some of the CARES Act funding to address certain shortfalls,” he said, “Florida will be well positioned to weather this pandemic.”
McClure advocated for reopening businesses in a “healthy and safe” way during the pandemic to ease the financial strain the pandemic has brought.
He voted for the legislation that implemented Amendment 4, a measure intended to restore most felons' voting rights. In its current form, the legislation requires felons to pay all restitution, court fees and fines before they are allowed to vote. Opponents call this a “poll tax.”
McClure received $196,150 in campaign contributions.
Townsend is a retired pharmacist whose family has lived in Florida for six generations. Townsend, 77, is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Plant City. Before retiring in 2013, he was a public health manager.
Townsend’s approach to the pandemic’s economic strain would be to temporarily curb corporate tax refunds until the Legislature is able to look at the entire budget.
“These cuts are at the same time as the (Gov. Ron) DeSantis administration is asking for across the board spending cuts,” he said.
Townsend said he would vote to repeal the legislation implementing Amendment 4, which “pervert(s) the obvious intent of the voters.”
He received $81,458 in campaign contributions.
The two-year seat pays a salary of $29,697.
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