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Second Democrat files for Ross Spano’s House seat

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

A second Democrat filed Thursday for the House District 59 seat, setting up a primary battle to face Dover Republican state Rep. Ross Spano in the general election next year.

Rena Jade Upshaw-Frazier, a partner at Quarles and Brady law firm in Tampa and a Stetson School of Law graduate, will take on schoolteacher Golnaz Sahebzamani for the Democratic nod. Frazier is married to former USF basketball star Anddrikk Frazier.

The presidential election has made the District 59 seat a more appealing prospect for Democrats – Spano won his first term in 2012 with 50.8 percent of the vote against Democrat Gail Gottlieb’s 49.2 percent, about a 1,000 vote difference. The 2014 election saw Spano demolish Democrat Donna Lee Fore, though, winning his second term by 16 points.

No matter which Democrat wins the primary, they will have to raise some cash to make the race competitive. The pair of special sessions this summer have certainly hamstrung Spano’s fundraising efforts — he had about $21,000 cash on-hand heading into August – but he broke the $200,000 barrier the last two election cycles.

After filing on July 9, Sahebzamani raised $8,930 for the month, with $8,428 cash on-hand heading into August. While the three-week haul easily eclipses Fore’s total contributions in the 2014 race, Frazier should be able to catch up easily. Her first report is due Sept. 10.

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for SaintPetersBlog and FloridaPolitics.com. While at the University of Florida, Wilson was an editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to cover business deals for The Hollywood Reporter. Before joining Extensive Enterprises, Wilson covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools.

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