That was quick.
As expected Rep. Ronald Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, is a candidate for the Senate District 6 seat. Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, elected Tuesday with 58 percent of the vote is expected to resign soon. The Florida State University Board of Trustees Thursday approved Thrasher as the school’s new president.
Thursday, Renuart announced his candidacy on Facebook.
“As a candidate for this seat, I offer my neighbors in Northeast Florida the opportunity to elect a proud veteran, a practicing physician and above all a proven conservative,” reads Renuart’s statement.
District 6 includes all of Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties as well as the northeast corner of Volusia. Thrasher was elected to the Senate in 2009, serving as chairman of the Rules Committee. He had previously served as a House Speaker. He had said he would resign after the Board approved his appointment. Gov. Rick Scott will call special election to fill the vacancy.
“It’s a Republican district. It was drawn to elect Republicans,” said University of North Florida political science professor Matthew T. Corrigan. “I think Sen. Thrasher was compatible with the district. You may see an even more conservative emerge.”
Rep. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, has also expressed interest in the seat. He was re-elected Tuesday to a second term.
Renuart was elected with 73 percent of the vote. He was challenged by Rebecca Sharp, a candidate with No Party Affiliation.
Renuart, like Corrigan suspected, has staked out the right in a conservative district.
Renuart’s statement reminds voters he was first elected to the Florida House in 2008 as a Ronald Reagan Republican and he “follows a set of conservative values and principles.”
He takes a stand on strengthening border security, believes life begins at conception and “defends the right of individuals to bear arms.”
Renuart’s economic policy is “Reducing the tax burden and streamlining regulation will help create an economic climate for businesses to relocate or expand and hire more workers.”
On education, Renuart’s would work towards “raising standards” through “accountability,” and on health care to “reduce costs while maintaining critical core services.”
A special election to fill Thrasher’s vacancy is expected to cost up to $1 million, according to a Daytona Beach News-Journal report. There will also be a need for a special election for Renuart’s House seat and Hutson’s if he were to resign to enter a Senate race.