Republican state Rep. Rene Plasencia has had an achilles heal of support in the Brevard County portion of his district – but that appears to be changing.
Plasencia, who lost Brevard County to challenger George Collins in the 2016 Republican primary yet won overall in Florida’s House District 50, came out on top in a straw poll this weekend over Collins, held by the North Brevard Republican Club.
Plasencia drew 66 votes to Collins 57, with Democratic candidate Pam Dirschka grabbing three of the Republican votes, in a straw poll overseen by the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Plasencia is a former high school teacher from Orlando seeking his third term in the house, though only his second term representing the district that covers east Orange County and north Brevard County. Collins, also of Orange County, just entered the 2018 contest to challenge Plasencia a week ago.
Last year Collins’ demonstrated his strength in the Brevard portion of the district – which has more Republican voters than the Orange side – when he won a Brevard County Republican Executive Committee straw poll convincingly over Plasencia a few weeks before the primary.
Among other decisions, the North Brevard Republicans favored Denise Grimsley decisively in the contest for Florida agriculture commissioner. She drew 63 votes to Baxter Troutman‘s 27, Matt Caldwell‘s 26, and Mike McCalister‘s 12.