A political duel between two state representatives has resulted in a near-landslide for Doug Broxson in taking the Republican nomination for northwest Florida’s Senate District 1.
By 9 p.m. Tuesday, Broxson, of Gulf Breeze, had nearly 57 percent to fellow state Rep. Mike Hill‘s 43 percent.
Given the area’s significant conservative lean, and no other competition but two write-in candidates, Broxson is likely to win in November’s general election. He would succeed term-limited GOP state Sen. Don Gaetz, also a former Senate President.
The primary election wraps up a brutal competition between the two men, each trying to outgun the other as the “true conservative” in the race.
The war culminated in a homestead exemption fraud investigation filed against Hill by a Broxson supporter. Escambia County Property Appraiser Chris Jones cleared Hill as recently as last week.
Hill succeeded the late Clay Ford after a 2013 special election for Ford’s seat. Hill moved from his home in Northeast Pensacola to a condo on Pensacola Beach to live inside the district. But he kept the first residence and still claimed its exemption.
“My name was on there and (my wife’s) wasn’t,” he said at the time.
“I didn’t think it was necessary because she’s on the deed and we were tenants in entirety so I thought I was the only one that needed to apply for exemption. So just to clear it up, we filed another exemption with her name on it.”
The Hill and Broxson camps have accused each other of running “dirty tricks,” including the fraud accusation.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reported on Broxson’s alleged “(breaking of) the law by first collaborating with a political action committee, then threatening Hill by relaying the organization’s willingness to provide ‘an unlimited amount of support’ to fund a negative campaign on Broxson’s behalf.”