Bay County business executive Jay Trumbull defeated a crowded pack of Republicans with 43 percent of the vote Tuesday to win the GOP primary for House District 6.
Following Trumbull was Thelma Rohan, who received 24 percent of the vote, and Melissa Hagan with 23 percent. Tho Bishop came in last with 10 percent.
Trumbull, 24, now advances to face Democrat Jamie Shepard, write-in candidate Jerry Wyche and Green Party Henry Newman Lawrence III in November to succeed term-limited state Rep. Jimmy Patronis.
At this point, it is good to note that the heavily Republican district, covering a majority of Bay County and Panama City, has not elected a Democrat since the 1990s.
In HD 6, Republicans maintain a solid advantage over Democrats, with 49-31 percent ratio in voter registration. In 2010, the district voted for Gov. Rick Scott with 66 percent of the vote; President Obama took only 28 percent in 2012.
If elected, Trumbull vows to bring a business perspective to Tallahassee, using it to hold a “tight rein” on government.
As co-owner of six Culligan franchises founded by his grandfather, Trumbull had a distinct business – and fundraising – advantage throughout the primary campaign. He finished the campaign with nearly $237K in donations, entering the general election with $20,480 on hand.
Only Hagan made any real headway in actual fundraising, with a total of more than $67,000. Rohan took in just over $36,000, but also loaned her campaign $70K.
Trumbull’s success can be attributed to a strategy of cultivated support among the Republican establishment. Helping him during the primary campaign were Reps. Dennis Baxley, Matt Gaetz, Clay Ingram and Halsey Beshears.