Ross Spano wins close race over Joe Wicker for House District 59

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Ross Spano, a Dover attorney, beat three other candidates to win the Republican nomination for the District 59 seat.

Spano said he was elated.

“It’s hard to explain. It’s pretty incredible,” he said. “We just had a great grassroots kind of swell of support. Having been born and raised here, having a business here, being in church here, people just rallied around me.”

Spano faces Democrat Gail Gottlieb in the general election.

Joe Wicker, a 34-year-old Iraq war veteran and small businessman, ran a close second.

Betty Jo Tompkins, a 65-year-old business woman from Brandon, and Michael Arden Floyd, a 68-year-old retired law officer, ran a distant third and fourth, respectively, in the race to represent a district that encompasses virtually all of the Brandon area — including Valrico, Dover, Seffner, Riverview, Palm River and Clair-Mel City.

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.