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National GOP group lists Jackie Toledo’s run in HD 60 as one of 16 to watch

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is listing Tampa engineer Jackie Toledo‘s candidacy for Hillsborough County House District 60 among the “16 in ’16: Races to Watch” nationally on Friday.

Toledo is running in a fierce battle against Tampa land-use attorney David Singer for the seat that has been held for the past six years by Dana Young.

According to a statement, the list highlights women and diverse candidates recognized as up-and-coming party leaders in their communities. 

“With just under two weeks to go until Election Day, state-level Republicans can feel confident in the strength and future of our party because of candidates like those highlighted today,” said RSLC President Matt Walter. “The men and women featured in the latest phase of ’16 in ’16’ will be crucial in our fight to hold and grow our ranks nationwide, but their victories will also have a tremendous impact on the future and prosperity of their communities. Our candidates represent educators, healthcare professionals, small business owners, and more; and their wide array of experiences and qualifications will prove critical in steering policy discussions and crafting effective, conservative legislation. I am so proud to stand by all 64 of our ’16 in ’16′ candidates in this final stretch to Election Day, and I wish them the best of luck on Nov. 8!”

House District 60 has been in Republican control well beyond Young’s tenure in office. Faye Culp held the seat from 2002-2010, and Chris Hart represented what was known as House District 57 from 1994-2002.

But Singer, a first-time candidate, has been pushing a centrist agenda in this campaign, and some observers say internal polling shows the race to be extremely competitive.

HD 60 encompasses much of South Tampa, as well as Davis Islands, Harbour Island, Palmetto Beach, Palm River-Clair Mel, Apollo Beach, and parts of Ruskin.

This was RSLC’s fourth and final round of 16 candidate races among Republican state races to watch closely.

Here’s the complete list:

  • Dwight Gonzales — Arkansas House District 85
  • Meredith Chapman — Delaware Senate District 8
  • Jackie Toledo — Florida House District 60
  • Byron Donalds — Florida House District 80
  • Lindsay Parkhurst — Illinois House District 79
  • Melinda Prunty — Kentucky House District 15
  • Leilani Holmstadt — Minnesota Senate District 54
  • Suzanne Geist — Nebraska Legislative District 25
  • Carrie Buck — Nevada Senate District 5 
  • Victoria Seaman — Nevada Senate District 6
  • Ceil Levatino — New Mexico Senate District 37
  • Julie Killian — New York Senate District 37 
  • Deanna Ballard — North Carolina Senate District 45
  • Theresa Gavarone — Ohio House District 3
  • Cornelius Huff — South Carolina Senate District 11
  • Affie Ellis — Wyoming Senate District 8

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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