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With no opposition, Dane Eagle wins re-election in HD 77

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Dane Eagle is headed back to the Florida House.

Eagle won his House District 77 race Friday after no other candidate qualified to run. Candidates have until noon Friday to qualify to be on the ballot.

The 33-year-old Cape Coral Republican was first elected to the Florida House in 2012.

Despite running unopposed, Eagle built up a substantial war chest in preparation for the election. State records show he raised $113,461 and had nearly $38,000 cash on hand at the end of the May. The 2016 election cycle marks the first time Eagle has run unopposed.

Eagle wasn’t the only Southwest Florida lawmaker who was re-elected Friday. State records show Heather Fitzenhagen also appeared to win re-election when no other candidate qualified for the House District 78 race.

Fitzenhagen, a Fort Myers Republican, was first elected in 2012. State records show she raised $149,775 and had more than $35,000 cash on hand at the end of May.

Both Eagle and Fitzenhagen are often mentioned as possible state Senate contenders in 2020, when the Senate District 27 seat opens up. And while both Lee County candidates appeared to have an easy victory, another potential 2020 contender was not so lucky.

Matt Caldwell from North Fort Myers was the only Republican to qualify for the House District 77 race. He’ll face Democrat John W. Scott and Matt Miller, a no party affiliation candidate, in the November election.

Caldwell was first elected in 2010, and is vying for his final term in the Florida House. He is widely believed to be gearing up for a run for the Florida Senate in 2020.

Estero Republican Ray Rodrigues will face Charles Messina, a no party affiliation candidate, in November. Messina ran as a Democrat for the same seat in 2014.

Candidates had until noon Friday to qualify to be on the ballot. State elections officials said they expect all of the candidate qualifying information to be finalized by Friday evening.

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