New poll shows GOP primary in SD 23 coming down to the wire

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Four points separate three Republicans running in an open primary for state Senate District 23, according to a poll taken one week before election day.

State Representative Greg Steube receives 26 percent in a new survey conducted by St. Pete Polls for FloridaPolitics.comNora Patterson, a former member of the Sarasota County Commission and Sarasota City Commission is at 24 percent, while former state Rep. Doug Holder is at 22 percent.

State Representative Ray Pilon is in fourth place at 16 percent, but that represents a marked improvement from a similar poll taken a month ago.

Rick Levine is at four percent, while nine percent of SD 23 voters say they are undecided about who they’ll vote for.

The poll from July showed Holder leading the pack with 29 percent of the vote, Steube at 23 percent and Patterson at 20 percent.

The five Republicans are vying to replace Sen. Nancy Detert in the newly drawn Senate District. Detert — who has represented the Sarasota area in the state Senate since 2008 — announced in September she was running for county commission. Detert was elected without opposition to the Sarasota County Commission in June.

Her decision shook up the delegation, and opened up several seats throughout the area.

Steube and Pilon both decided to forego re-election bids in the Florida House to run for the seat. Both of their seats are on the ballot this year.

The poll of 669 likely primary voters was conducted August 22. The survey has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

 Only those voters that voted in a primary election in 2012 or 2014 were included in the results.

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.