The 2017 Session starts Tuesday, but some legislative hopefuls are already thinking about the next election cycle.
State elections records show dozens of members of the House and Senate have filed to run in 2018.
Rep. Jay Trumbull, a Panama City Republican, filed to run for re-election in House District 6 in 2018. First elected in 2014, Trumbull currently serves as as the chairman of the Select Committee on Triumph Gulf Coast and the vice chairman of the Careers & Competition Subcommittee. Democratic Reps. Patrick Henry, Kamia Latasha Brown, Wengay Newton, and Joseph Abruzzo have also filed to run for re-election in 2018.
A bevy of political up-and-comers have also announced they’re running for office in the next election cycle.
Lilian Bravo Hutchinson, a Hawthorne Republican, will challenge Democrat Clovis Watson in House District 20 in 2018. Watson, according to LobbyTools, has never faced a Republican opponent and hasn’t been in a contested race since 2012.
Fort Lauderdale Democrat Jonathon May is hoping to replace Rep. George Moraitis in the Florida House. May filed to run in House District 93 in 2018. Moriatis can’t run for re-election again because of term limits.
Republicans Daniel Anthony Perez and Ana Maria Rodriguez have filed to run in House District 116. Both are vying to replace Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, who can’t run for re-election because of term limits.
Andrew Vargas, a Miami Republican, is hoping to replace Rep. Jeanette Nunez, in House District 119. Nunez, the House Speaker Pro Tempore, can’t run for re-election again because of term limits.
Martin County GOP Chairman Toby Overdorf is eyeing term-limited Rep. Gayle Harrell’s House District 83 seat. Overdorf is the founder of Crossroads Environmental Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in environmental permitting.
But the past few weeks have also brought a few people dropping out of the race, before the rush of campaigning even begins.
Christopher Leon, a Republican candidate in House District 115, withdrew from his race, citing personal hardship. Republican Carmen Sotomayor is now the only candidate in the race.
And Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, an Orlando Republican, has withdrawn from his 2018 re-election bid in House District 44. The move comes after Eisnaugle express interest in an open seat on the 5th District Court of Appeal.