Rep. Eric Eisnaugle WILL NOT run for re-election

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Rep. Eric Eisnaugle has penned an op-ed announcing he will not move into a new district just to run for re-election to the Florida House of Representatives.

Eisnaugle’s withdrawal clears the way for Rep. Steve Precourt to be re-elected, although he will likely still have a primary challenge on his hands. Precourt was reportedly the preferred candidate of Speaker Designate Will Weatherford, although Weatherford did not confirm this and lauded Eisnaugle as a “true public servant” on Twitter after his decision was announced.

Eisnaugle is the second Republican incumbent, along with Rep. Brad Drake, to not seek re-election rather than run against a colleague.  Class act on both their parts.

The text of Eisnaugle’s op-ed is below.

When I first decided to run for the Florida House, I did so with the support of my family, a desire to serve my community and a great respect for our constitution. At the time, I could not have known that those same factors would lead me to make the opposite decision just four years later.

This year’s once-a-decade task of redrawing district lines was more complex than ever before with the passage of Amendments 5 and 6, which require districts to be more compact and not drawn to favor any political party.

Early in the process, it became clear that the district I currently represent would be altered greatly, and that I would end up in the same district as a friend and fellow Republican legislator. About 40 other members of the House reportedly ended up in similar situations.

I was proud to vote for this House map, because to me, this was a natural result of doing the right thing, and properly applying Amendment 5 for the first time. The Florida House worked hard to meet both the letter and spirit of Amendment 5, which was every lawmaker’s solemn constitutional duty.

The bottom line is no one is entitled to a legislative seat. Those seats belong to the people — and only the people.

And so, I will not run against my friend and fellow conservative. When I first ran, I promised my wife and myself that we would always do what was right, rather than what it took to get re-elected, and I’m not going to break that promise now.

Likewise, I will not move my young family, as some have suggested, to another district just to run for re-election. Although public policy is truly important to me, I simply do not believe that the sacrifices required to move into another district would be best for us.

My passion for our community and the issues facing Florida is stronger than ever, and I am both deeply humbled and thankful for the opportunity to represent Central Florida. It’s just that I am not willing to put elected office ahead of my family.

Therefore, I will not seek re-election this year, and I am at peace with that decision. After all, each of us can make a difference, elected or not, and I plan to continue doing just that right here in Orlando.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.