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Keith Perry
Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, reacts after approval of his CS/SB 1370: Warnings for Lottery Games bill during the Senate's Committee on Rules Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (Photo by Phil Sears)


Keith Perry picks up second Democratic challenger

Republican Sen. Keith Perry picked up a second challenger in his re-election campaign for Gainesville-based Senate District 8.

Kayser Enneking filed for the seat on Friday and is the second Democrat in the race after Olysha Magruder, who filed for the seat back in June.

Enneking is an anesthesiologist and is currently working as the interim chair of the University of Florida College of Medicine Department of Dermatology, a position she has held since 2016.

She originally was mulling a run for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, but likely faces much better odds in SD 8 which was remapped into an Alachua County based seat with a slight Democratic edge last year.

Perry won the seat by a fair margin in 2016 against longtime Gainesville politician Rod Smith, and his 2018 campaign is already off to a strong start in fundraising.

Through the end of July, Perry had raised $106,282 for his campaign account and had more than $100,000 of that money on hand.

Magruder, a former teacher who has been active in protesting the Donald Trump agenda, has only raised about $1,900 for her campaign.

Enneking’s first campaign finance report isn’t due until October.

SD 8 covers all of Alachua and Putnam counties and the northern half of Marion County. About 48 percent of the electorate are registered Democrats compared to 33 percent who are registered Republicans.

Despite the heavy lean on paper, Perry carried the seat with 53 percent of the vote in a very expensive race against Smith.

Written By

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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