Scott Boyd declines HD 44 race, backs John Newstreet - Florida Politics

Scott Boyd declines HD 44 race, backs John Newstreet

The special election race for Florida’s House District 44 became clearer Friday morning when former Orange County Commissioner Scott Boyd said he has decided to not run and will back Republican John Newstreet instead.

“Solid guy, absolutely the best qualified individual for this position,” Boyd declared of Newstreet in a message to Orlando-Politics.com.

Newstreet, the chief executive officer of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, entered the race Thursday, challenging former Winter Garden Commissioner Bobby Olszewski for the Republican nomination.

The race also has a long-shot Republican, Dr. Usha Jain, and Democrat Paul Chandler, an Orlando businessman. The western Orange County district is considered fairly safe for Republicans, especially if there is a low-turnout special election. And it could give the winner a legs-up as a candidate for Florida House Speaker.

The seat is open because Republican state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle who is leaving take a judicial appointment to Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeals. A special election primary and general election are yet to be set.

Boyd, whose confirmed earlier this month that he was contemplating a run in HD 44 himself. His county commission seat, which he won for two terms before being term-limtied out, covered much of the same territory.

On Friday he wrote, “I’m out; 150 percent behind Newstreet.”

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@flordiapolitics.com or scottmichaelpowers@yahoo.com.
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