Previewing the Top 20 Florida House races to watch in 2014: House District 36

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House District 36 is the hotly contested seat that went from Republican to Democrat last October in a special election to replace popular state Rep. Mike Fasano, who resigned to become Pasco Tax Collector.

Democratic state Rep. Amanda Murphy won the seat last year, with more than a little help from Fasano. Now she faces Republican healthcare professional and former Air Force Flight Medic Chris Gregg.

Gregg, whose platform is heavy on Jobs, small business and education reforms, is receiving solid GOP support, with endorsements from fellow conservatives State Sen. John Legg from Lutz and outgoing House Speaker Will Weatherford. In her first months in the House, Murphy picked up where Fasano left off by supporting the repeal of the law allowing power companies to charge customers for new power plants not yet built. It was an issue important to both Fasano and Pasco County residents.

Murphy also has the support of the Florida Medical Association, which recognized her work on the Health & Human Services Committee, Health Care Appropriations, and Healthy Families Subcommittees.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.