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Richard Corcoran draws a long-shot opponent for 2016

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran today drew a primary opponent in Ronson Hale Biedrzycki of Brooksville, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

Biedrzycki filed paperwork to run for House District 37 on May 12 as a Republican.

The 36-year-old with libertarian leanings is unlikely to raise much money compared to the vast sums Corcoran is known for amassing  — $196,450 in hard money alone was collected for his 2016 campaign account by April — as Biedrzycki is involved with Wolf-PAC Florida, a group that seeks to amend the U.S. Constitution to create publicly financed campaigns for all candidates.

Corcoran raised a great deal more than that, upwards of $280,000, when he first took office in 2012. His affiliated political committee, Florida Roundtable, had raised $1.42 million as of press time.

Biedrzycki has made several social media posts in which he castigates Florida politicos for their ravenous fundraising efforts, including one linking to a radio segment co-hosted by former Libertarian candidate for governor Adrian Wyllie on the 1787 Network on what the hosts said amounts to “corruption in state government,” specifically detailing employment ties between former Speaker Will Weatherford and state Sen. Wilton Simpson, among other key statehouse leaders.

Corcoran is widely seen as a highly influential éminence grise within the House GOP caucus, adept at pulling strings behind the scenes and building coalitions for legislative action.

The only thing more unlikely than a victory by Biedrzycki might be a win by a Democrat: District 37 is a steeply conservative-leanng seat, offering the Rs a voter registration advantage of nearly 50 percent.

No Democrat so far has filed.

HD 37 is 83 percent white and contains a large swath of inland Pasco County, along the Suncoast Parkway.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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