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House District 9

Surprise (or not): Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda joins the Republican Party

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Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda

As long expected, Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is pulling a reverse Charlie Crist. The former state representative for Tallahassee, who quit the Democratic Party and became an independent shortly before being term limited out of office last year, now has officially become a Republican. Rehwinkel Vasilinda, 56, officially announced the switch at the 2017 Leon GOP Lincoln Day Dinner held in Tallahassee Thursday night. “We are excited to welcome (her) into the Republican Party,” Leon County GOP chairman Evan Power said. “Her switch really shows how the…

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Democrat Loranne Ausley wins House District 9

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Democrat Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee has regained the seat she once held in the Florida House, defeating Republican opponent Jim Messer. Ausley won the race for House District 9 Tuesday night by 56 percent to 44 percent. She had held the seat 2000-08. The district traditionally swings Democrat: It’s entirely within Leon County, where — as of Election Day — registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 109,815 to 57,407.  Ausley founded Whole Child Leon, an affiliate of the Lawton Chiles Foundation that focuses on early childhood development. She also…

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Republican fundraising shows a serious challenger in Democratic HD 9

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Republican House District 9 candidate James Messer filed his first campaign finance report Thursday, and it looks like Democratic front-runner Loranne Ausley has a serious challenger in the left-leaning district. After four weeks in the race the Tallahassee attorney amassed $52,000 cash on-hand, a good deal of it coming from fellow attorneys. The total came across 157 contributions, including 20 checks of $1,000 – the maximum contribution for Florida House campaigns. Former state Rep. Ausley hasn’t released her September report…

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