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Joe Saunders

2016 House field continues to shape up in central Florida, Tallahassee

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It’s more than a year out from 2016 legislative elections, normally a quiet time when warring factions retreat to their camps and use the odd-numbered year to strategize and keep their powder dry. But with recent drama surrounding the race for the 2021-22 speakership, state party infighting involving sitting House Rep./RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia and an imminent Senate map redraw likely to pit incumbents against one another as they vie to ascend to the upper chamber, things in the House are very much “on” in…

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Thad Altman files for House seat in 2018, shifts Space Coast politics

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State Sen. Thad Altman became just the second person to file for the state House in 2018 this month, when he filed for the HD 51 seat currently held by term-limited Speaker Steve Crisafulli. An innocuous move at first blush, it could throw off the intricate math behind state Rep. Eric Eislanugle‘s bid for the 2021-22 speakership. Altman, a Rockledge Republican, terms out in 2018. State Rep. Tom Goodson, who terms out in 2016, recently filed for the HD 51 seat, opting to serve…

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Democratic challengers emerge in HD 49, HD 95

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Two very different House seats drew new Democratic challengers last week and on Tuesday, according to filings with the Florida Division of Elections. State Rep. Rene Plasencia, a Republican from the Orlando area, will face at least one challenger from the other side of the aisle in his quest for a third term representing the closely competitive District 49, consisting of part of Orange County along the I-4 corridor in the center of the state. The district offers Democrats a voter…

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Joe Saunders mulling possible comeback in House District 49

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Former Democratic state Rep. Joe Saunders is “talking to family and friends about what the future may hold” now that state Rep. Rene Plasencia — who narrowly defeated Saunders in a razor-thin contest in District 49 last November — has opted to run in a more Republican-leaning adjacent district in 2016. Saunders took to social media on Sunday and later caught up with SaintPetersBlog to address the shifting electoral landscape in Orlando. “The news that Rene Plasencia won’t seek re-election in House District 49 has given me…

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Rene Plasencia, Tom Goodson to shuffle House seats near Space Coast

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Titusville state Rep. Tom Goodson from District 50 will not seek re-election there, and will instead opt to run for an adjacent House seat, freeing up state Rep. Rene Plasencia to make a run at the Republican-oriented seat. The latest move in Central Florida legislative musical chairs was first reported by Frank Torres of the Orlando Political Observer and Jacob Engels of the East Orlando Post. Plasencia narrowly defeated state Rep. Joe Saunders in a tightly-contested race that saw the Democratic incumbent go down by a margin of fewer than…

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