Kathleen Peters can breathe sigh of relief: LJ Govoni suspends bid for HD 69

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Rep. Kathleen Peters can breathe a sigh of relief this morning. 

That’s because LJ Govoni, the Pinellas businessman who had already raised tens of thousands of dollars for his campaign for House District 69 — and could easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars out of his bank account — is suspending his campaign.

“After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for State House District 69,” Govoni said in a press release.

Govoni entered the race for HD 69 after Peters joined the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Peters ended up losing to David Jolly in a spirited GOP primary. Even though she ran for Congress, Peters did not have to give up her seat in the Florida House because state election law does not require candidates to resign-to-run for federal office. 

With Peters running for re-election, Govoni faced a difficult decision: Leave the race or challenge an incumbent from his own party. Certainly Govoni would have given Peters all that she could handle, but running against an incumbent is not looked at favorably by party leaders.

Dropping out of this race likely gives Govoni several chits to use for future ambitions. Reading between the lines of his press release, it does not sound like Govoni is going anywhere.

“Suspending my campaign does not mean I am suspending my efforts to improve this wonderful community I call home,” said Govoni.  “I will work each day, as I always have to continue to build a strong community built on personal responsibility, job growth, and education.  These are goals we should all champion and advocate for.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.