Fresen drops out of unofficial race to replace Dorworth; only McBurney stands between Crisafulli and the Speakership

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Not that he was really a factor to begin with after his narrow re-election, but Rep. Erik Fresen is telling his House colleagues that he will not attempt to replace Chris Dowroth as Speaker Designate in 2015-16 if Dorworth is not able to overcome a 123 vote deficit to Democrat Mike Clelland for House District 29.

Meanwhile, one of Dorworth’s staunches defenders, Representative Matt Gaetz, has told the Orlando Sentinel that he expects his Republican colleagues to rally around State Rep. Steve Crisafulli, a Republican from Merritt Island, as Dorworth’s replacement.

“He’s a quiet, strong leader. And I think he instills a lot of confidence in the membership.

Asked if Crisafulli was already securing pledges from fellow GOP legislators, Gaetz said, “I called and offered mine and he accepted it.”

With Fresen out of the unofficial race, the only thing standing between Crisfulli and the Speakership is Rep. Charles McBurney, who is mulling throwing his hat in the ring.

One option for replacing Dorworth which no longer seems to be an option is a back-to-back term for Rep. Richard Corcoran.

“I think that it’s unlikely the group of folks that were elected at the same time that Chris Dorworth was would go outside that group of members,” Gaetz said.

I suggest you follow on Twitter @Jason_Garcia of the Orlando Sentinel. 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.