Twelve new candidates declare in Florida

Twelve new candidates declared their intent to run for state-level offices in Florida between Aug. 14 and Aug. 20, according to Ballotpedia’s ongoing tracking. This was 11 more candidates than the prior week. 

Four of those candidates are Democrats and seven are Republicans. One is a minor-party candidate. Three candidates are running in 2023 and nine in 2024.

The 12 candidates are running for state legislature.

Details on five of these candidates are below: 

  • Rishi Bagga (D) is running for Florida House of Representatives District 35 in 2023 (primary) and potentially 2024 (general). Bagga said, “… [I support] proposals that give local governments flexibility in spending tourist taxes on infrastructure and other necessary investments in our community. [I support] the incremental wage increase approved by Florida voters and [oppose] any effort to create a ‘subminimum wage,’ which would result in both lost wages and lost sales tax revenue. Finally, [I believe] in strengthening our public school system to attract new and diverse industries to Florida.”
  • Johnny Farias (D) is running for Florida House of Representatives District 118 in 2023. Farias said, “Accumulated experiences from my career have enabled me to serve my community and society, creating job opportunities for numerous families. I am dedicated to ensuring those around me contribute positively to our country, upholding the right to work and learn.”
  • Tom Keen (D) is running for Florida House of Representatives District 35 in 2023 (primary) and potentially 2024 (general). Keen said, “[My] commitment to public service continued long after serving our country. [I have] been active in several veteran-service organizations and ha[ve] served on both the City of Orlando Citizens’ Police Review Board and the Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Council. [I have] also participated in both Leadership Orlando and the Mayor’s City Academy. [My] technical oversight and budgeting experience make [me] qualified to effectively serve and uplift our communities for all residents, well into the future.”
  • Scotty Moore (R) is running for Florida House of Representatives District 35 in 2023 (primary) and potentially 2024 (general). Moore said, “[I believe] America is experiencing a leadership crisis.  [I] strongly [believe] not all leaders are alike and that we need patriots who will courageously defend the Constitution, promote conservative principles that honor God and Keep. Florida. Free.”
  • Daniel Zapata (R) is running for Florida House of Representatives District 89 in 2024. Zapata said, “For the past few years, our country has gone through many trials and tribulations, and somehow we have found a way to become more divided. We have continued to blame each other for everything instead of coming together to find solutions. This chapter in our history has shown us the ruin that division brings. It is time to put aside our differences and come together to fight for Florida’s future.”

Since the beginning of the year, Ballotpedia has identified 55 candidates for state-level offices in Florida. Five hundred and eighty-five candidates ran for state-level office in Florida in 2022, while 520 ran in 2020. In 2022, 238 were Democratic, while 276 were Republican. In 2020, 266 were Democratic and 194 were Republican. Nationally, Ballotpedia has tracked 659 Democrats and 818 Republicans running for state-level office in 2023, and 121 Democrats and 166 Republicans running in 2024. 

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