Tampa state house Representative Ed Narain announced on Friday that he has become the fastest candidate in the Senate District 19 race to qualify via petitions, doing so in 72 days.
“After being asked by members of the community to enter the race, we’ve been working hard to get our message out to our neighbors in the district,” the House District 61 Democrat said in a statement. “To have so many people volunteer their time to walk with me and take petitions to their neighbors, church members, family and friends is reflective of the beautiful spirit of togetherness that makes our community great. I’m honored to have the support of so many people, at home and around the state.”
Narain was the last candidate to enter the race in mid-March and says almost 1900 people signed petitions in support of his candidacy.
Narain has become the front-runner in the race to succeed the term-limited Arthenia Joyner in the SD 19 seat. He’s running against former state Rep. Betty Reed and current House District 70 Rep. Darryl Rouson, who is term-limited out of his seat this fall.
None of the candidates have filed their fundraising reports for May, but at the end of April, Narain was dominating the field with more than $119,000 raised. Rouson had raised $51,650, and Reed had taken in $23,316.
Republican John Houman entered the race last month. SD 19 encompasses parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and is considered extremely Democratic-leaning.