Democratic incumbent Susan Valdes handily secured a second term over Republican challenger Angel Urbina Capo and unaffiliated candidate Laurie Rodriguez-Person in a race for the House District 62 seat representing much of West Tampa and surrounding areas Tuesday night.
Unofficial results showed Valdes leading with 58 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting.
In addition to serving her first term as a state House representative, Valdes also spent 14 years on the Hillsborough County School Board and worked as a health practice administrator before that. She currently serves on the Education Committee, the Public Integrity & Ethics Committee and two education-related subcommittees. Her campaign website emphasized advocacy in those areas, as well as economic development, the environment and healthcare.
Urbina is a small business owner whose campaign focused on education, public safety and the environment. He voiced support for vocational training and has said one of his goals is to improve teachers' working conditions. He also advocated for reforms of environmental laws and increased resources for law enforcement.
Rodriguez-Person, an education teacher, kept a low profile during the race, though her husband and treasurer, Bill Person, has posted about the race to his Facebook page. Bill Person ran against Valdes for the seat in 2018, but lost. Unaffiliated candidates sometimes run to snag a small portion of the vote and affect the outcome between two other candidates.
Valdes raised $87,450 in monetary donations and $990 in in-kind contributions. Urbina’s contributions include $4,305 in monetary donations and $1,200 in in-kind donations. Rodriguez-Person has raised $500 in monetary contributions. She also reported $3,000 in loans.
In addition to West Tampa, District 62 includes nearby unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County. Florida state House representatives serve two-year terms, earning an annual salary of $29,679.
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