Marc Vann Archives - Florida Politics

Alex Andrade, Chuck Brannan win GOP primaries for North Florida House seats

Gulf Breeze Republican Alex Andrade and Lake City Republican Marc Vann won their respective primary contests and are now primed to join the Florida House.

For Andrade, who defeated late-entry Greg Merk 60 percent to 40 percent, his ticket to Tallahassee has already been secured because there are no Democratic Party or third-party candidates waiting to challenge him in November.

In all, it took nearly $140,000 in fundraising for Andrade, a lawyer, to succeed Pensacola Rep. Frank White in House District 2, which covers parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

White, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayword, the Florida Realtors, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce all lined up behind Andrade, who is a member of the UF Student Affairs Hall of Fame.

Merk, for his part, raised little and showed less on the endorsement front.

Andrade’s election makes him the third Representative to hold the seat in as many election cycles. Former Rep. Mike Hill held HD 2 from 2013 through Election Day 2016, when White took over.

Over in House District 10, Chuck Brannan is all but assured to succeed term-limited Rep. Elizabeth Porter come November when he’ll face off against a Democratic nominee Ronald Williams and NPA challengers Merrillee Jipson and Fred Martin.

On Tuesday, he defeated his primary opponent Marc Vann 55 percent to 44 percent.

Vann, a small-business man, had raised more than $100,000 for his campaign, all of it from donors, while Brannan raised half that but made up some of the gap through a $25,000 candidate loan.

Brannan’s win comes despite Vann earning the support of Porter, the Florida Realtors, and the Florida Retail Federation.

Though Brannan faces three challengers on Election Day, HD 10 is a Republican stronghold where Donald Trump won with 72 percent of the vote two years ago.

The seat covers the whole of Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, and Suwannee counties as well as a small piece of northwestern Alachua County.

endorsements

Florida Realtors make endorsements in 87 legislative races

The political arm of the Florida Realtors rolled out endorsements Monday for nearly every state legislative election slated for the 2018 ballot.

“As Realtors, we pride ourselves on our long-standing efforts to defend private property rights, promote community prosperity and preserve a professional climate that ensures the economic growth of Florida,” said Ann DeFries, chair of Florida Realtors PAC Trustees. “Our continued success in these efforts requires legislators who share these beliefs and will work with our 180,000+ members to help Floridians and their communities thrive.”

Of the 142 Senate and House seats up for grabs this year — that includes special elections to replace Senate President Joe Negron and Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube27 were decided at the close of candidate qualifying deadline.

The Florida Realtors weighed in on 87 of the remaining set to go before voters in some form or fashion.

Four of those picks are virtually assured victory as their only challenge is coming from unaffiliated, third-party or write-in candidates. Those include HD 46 Democratic Rep. Bruce Antone, HD 38 Republican Rep. Danny Burgess, HD 17 Republican Rep. Cyndi Stevenson and HD 6 Republican Rep. Jay Trumbull.

Many of the other races feature an incumbent who’ll likely cruise toward re-election, such as District 2 Republican Sen. George Gainer and HD 39 Republican Rep. Josie Tomkow, though the trade association also weighed in on nearly every competitive race.

In the upper chamber, incumbent Republican Sen. Keith Perry of Gainesville got the nod in his bid for another term in Senate District 8, where he faces well-funded Democratic challenger Kayser Enneking.

In the Bay area’s premier battleground, Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young earned the Realtor’s support for re-election over House Minority Leader Janet Cruz. St. Pete Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes also earned an endorsement, though he’s looking set for re-election after his Democratic challenger, Carrie Pilon, bowed out of the race for family reasons.

Brandes will still face a challenger of the Florida Democratic Party’s choosing, but whoever picks up the baton isn’t likely to have the same local clout as Pilon.

In Senate District 22, a stretch goal for Democrats, the Florida Realtors endorsed Lakeland Republican Sen. Kelli Stargel over Democratic challengers Bob Doyel and former Rep. Ricardo Rangel. It was the same deal for Senate District 36, where Hialeah Republican Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. faces a pair of Democrats in his bid to ascend to the Senate.

In the Democratic contest for Senate District 38, Florida Realtors picked incumbent Sen. Daphne Campbell who is facing a tough challenge from Miami attorney Jason Pizzo, the second-place finisher in the 2016 Democratic primary.

Curiously, the Florida Realtors didn’t weigh in on Senate District 16, the Pinellas and Pasco-based battleground where former Clearwater Republican Rep. Ed Hooper and former New Port Richey Democratic Rep. Amanda Murphy are in a tight race for a return trip to Tallahassee.

There was also no endorsement issued for the Treasure Coast’s Senate District 25, where Stuart Republican Rep. Gayle Harrell is facing a primary challenge from Belinda Keiser, who has already put down $700,000 of her own money in her quest to succeed Negron.

In the House, another 69 candidates received an endorsement.

Notable among those was an endorsement for Republican Rep. Shawn Harrison, who faces a challenge from Democratic attorney Fentrice Driskell in HD 63, a perennial swing seat. Also making the announcement was a long list of non-incumbents who face primary or Election Day challenges.

Those included Gonzalez Republican Rebekah Bydlak, who faces former Rep. Mike Hill in HD 1; Gulf Breeze Republican Alex Andrade, who faces Greg Merk in the HD 2 primary; Lake City Republican Marc Vann in the three-way primary to succeed Rep. Elizabeth Porter in HD 10; Winter Springs Republican David Smith, who faces Democrat Lee Mangold in HD 28; Merritt Island Republican Tyler Sirois in the three-way race for HD 51; Bartow Republican Melony Bell over Jeff Mann in HD 56; Belleair Bluffs Republican Nick DiCeglie over Berny Jacques in HD 66; St. Petersburg Republican Jeremy Bailie over Ray Blacklidge in the primary for HD 69; Bradenton Republican Will Robinson over Bradenton Democrat Tracy Pratt in HD 71; Sarasota Republican Tommy Gregory over Melissa Howard in HD 73; and Doral Republican Ana Maria Rodriguez over Democrats Javier Estevez and Ross Hancock in HD 105.

Every other candidate endorsed by the Florida Realtors was an incumbent, and most of them are safe for re-election. The full list is below.

— SD 2: Sen. George Gainer
— SD 4: Sen. Aaron Bean
— SD 8: Sen. Keith Perry
— SD 10: Sen. Wilton Simpson
— SD 12: Sen. Dennis Baxley
— SD 14: Sen. Dorothy Hukill
— SD 18: Sen. Dana Young
— SD 20: Sen. Tom Lee
— SD 22: Sen. Kelli Stargel
— SD 23: Rep. Joe Gruters
— SD 24: Sen. Jeff Brandes
— SD 26: Rep. Ben Albritton
— SD 28: Sen. Kathleen Passidomo
— SD 30: Sen. Bobby Powell
— SD 34: Sen. Gary Farmer Jr.
— SD 36: Rep. Manny Diaz Jr.
— SD 38: Sen. Daphne Campbell
— SD 40: Sen. Annette Taddeo
— HD 1: Rebekah Bydlak
— HD 2: Alex Andrade
— HD 3: Rep. Jayer Williamson
— HD 4: Rep. Mel Ponder
— HD 6: Rep. Jay Trumbull
— HD 10: Marc Vann
— HD 11: Rep. Cord Byrd
— HD 12: Rep. Clay Yarborough
— HD 16: Rep. Jason Fischer
— HD 17: Rep. Cyndi Stevenson
— HD 19: Rep. Bobby Payne
— HD 21: Rep. Chuck Clemons
— HD 22: Rep. Charlie Stone
— HD 23: Rep. Stan McClain
— HD 24: Rep. Paul Renner
— HD 25: Rep. Tom Leek
— HD 27: Rep. David Santiago
— HD 28: David Smith
— HD 29: Rep. Scott Plakon
— HD 30: Rep. Bob Cortes
— HD 31: Rep. Jennifer Sullivan
— HD 34: Rep. Ralph Massullo Jr.
— HD 35: Rep. Blaise Ingoglia
— HD 36: Rep. Amber Mariano
— HD 38: Rep. Danny Burgess
— HD 39: Rep. Josie Tomkow
— HD 40: Rep. Colleen Burton
— HD 42: Rep. Mike LaRosa
— HD 44: Rep. Robert “Bobby O” Olszewski
— HD 46: Rep. Bruce H. Antone
— HD 48: Rep. Amy Mercado
— HD 49: Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith
— HD 50: Rep. Rene “Coach P” Plasencia
— HD 51: Tyler Sirois
— HD 52: Rep. Thad Altman
— HD 53: Rep. Randy Fine
— HD 54: Rep. Erin Grall
— HD 55: Rep. Cary Pigman
— HD 56: Melony Bell
— HD 58: Rep. Lawrence McClure
— HD 60: Rep. Jackie Toledo
— HD 63: Rep. Shawn Harrison
— HD 64: Rep. James Grant
— HD 65: Rep. Chris Sprowls
— HD 66: Nick DiCeglie
— HD 67: Rep. Chris Latvala
— HD 69: Jeremy Bailie
— HD 70: Rep. Wengay “Newt” Newton
— HD 71: Will Robinson
— HD 73: Tommy Gregory
— HD 76: Rep. Ray Rodrigues
— HD 77: Rep. Dane Eagle
— HD 78: Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen
— HD 80: Rep. Byron Donalds
— HD 82: Rep. Mary Lynn Magar
— HD 85: Rep. Rick Roth
— HD 86: Rep. Matt Willhite
— HD 87: Rep. David Silvers
— HD 92: Rep. Patricia Hawkins-Williams
— HD 96: Rep. Kristin Jacobs
— HD 97: Rep. Jared Moskowitz
— HD 105: Ana Maria Rodriguez
— HD 106: Rep. Bob Rommel
— HD 108: Rep. Roy Hardemon
— HD 111: Rep. Bryan Avila
— HD 112: Rep. Nicholas Duran
— HD 114: Rep. Javier Fernandez
— HD 116: Rep. Danny Perez
— HD 120: Rep. Holly Raschein

Second Democrat enters crowded HD 10 contest

A second Democrat has entered the race for House District 10, currently held by term-limited Rep. Elizabeth Porter.

Lake City resident Ronald Winston Williams II filed his paperwork for the North Central Florida seat on Wednesday, possibly setting up primary battle with fellow Democrat Evan Tharpe Leslie.

Leslie filed for the seat in March, but his campaign appears to be DOA — he hasn’t filed a campaign finance report since entering the race and will face a heap of fines levied by the Florida Division of Elections if his campaign ever does show any contributions.

If either Williams or Leslie makes the ballot, the winner of their contest will face the winner of a three-way Republican Primary between Benjamin Leon and Chuck Brannan III and Marc Vann, who leads in fundraising and has snagged endorsements, including one from Porter.

Unaffiliated candidates Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Fred Martin are also vying for the open seat.

As of April 30, Vann had raised $54,730 since filing in October and had $44,814 in the bank. Brannan has a little over $52,000 banked, though that includes $25,000 in candidate loans. Malwitz-Jipson is the only other candidate to have shown signs of life on the fundraising trail — she has just shy of $1,100 on hand.

Vann, Brannan and Malwitz-Jipson have also gathered enough signatures to make the 2018 ballot by petition.

HD 10 covers the whole of Baker, Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties as well as a small piece of northwestern Alachua. Outside of the Panhandle, the seat is one of the most reliable Republicans strongholds in the state House.

Republican candidate Marc Vann with HD 10 Rep. Elizabeth Porter

Marc Vann gets retailer backing in HD 10

The Florida Retail Federation is endorsing one of its own in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Rep. Elizabeth Porter in House District 10.

The statewide trade association announced Wednesday that it is backing Republican Marc Vann in the race, citing his experience running a retail business.

“As a small business owner whose store has been serving its customers for more than 70 years, Marc knows what it takes to successfully run and maintain a retail business, and will do his part to help other retailers like him,” said FRF president and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Marc has the experience and knowledge to make a difference in the Florida House for Sunshine State retailers.”

Vann, who co-owns Vann Carpet One in Lake City, has also been endorsed by Porter. His wife, Sheree Vann, has worked as Porter’s district secretary since 2014.

He faces Benjamin Leon and Chuck Brannan III in the Republican Primary for the North Central Florida seat. Whoever emerges from the Aug. 28 contest will move on to what could be a four-way race against Democrat Evan Tharpe Leslie and unaffiliated candidates Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Fred Martin.

As of April 30, Vann led in fundraising with $54,730 raised since filing in October and $44,814 in the bank. Brannan has a little over $52,000 banked, though that includes $25,000 in candidate loans. Malwitz-Jipson is the only other candidate to have shown signs of life on the fundraising trail — she has just shy of $1,100 on hand.

Those three have also gathered enough signatures to make the 2018 ballot by petition.

HD 10 covers the whole of Baker, Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties as well as a small piece of northwestern Alachua. Outside of the Panhandle, the seat is one of the most reliable Republicans strongholds in the state House.

Republican candidate Marc Vann with HD 10 Rep. Elizabeth Porter

Marc Vann adds $17K for HD 10 bid

Lake City businessman Marc Vann raised $17,530 last month and for his campaign to succeed termed-out Republican Rep. Elizabeth Porter in House District 10.

“Our campaign’s momentum is strong and growing. I really appreciate all the neighbors and friends, both old and new, who are jumping on board our team,” Vann said in a press release.

“Our conservative message resonates with the folks in this district, and I look forward to continuing to connect with more voters about our platform of more jobs and lower taxes.”

The campaign also announced Thursday that it had qualified for the ballot by petition.

The March report showed 51 donations, with four $1,000 checks topping contribution sheet.

Those max donors included attorney Jordan Robert and contractor Don Reed, both of Lake City, as well as O’Brien real estate broker Joe Peurrung and highway construction firm Anderson Columbia Co.

Spending came in at just $69 and included credit card fees from fundraising platform Anedot and signature verification fess from the supervisors of election in the multi-county district.

To date, the campaign has raised $51,630 for his campaign and has $50,146 in the bank.

Vann, the co-owner of Vann Carpet One in Lake City, is one of three Republicans vying to replace Porter. His wife, Sheree Vann, has worked as Porter’s district secretary since 2014, and the exiting lawmaker endorsed him early on in his campaign.

He faces Benjamin Leon and Chuck Brannan III in the Republican Primary. Also running are Democrat Evan Leslie and unaffiliated candidates Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson and Fred Martin.

Outside of Vann, only Brannan has shown signs of life on the fundraising trail. Through March, he had raised $25,250 for his campaign and chipped in another $25,000 his own money. He has $47,445 banked.

HD 10 covers the whole of Baker, Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties as well as a small piece of northwestern Alachua. Outside of the Panhandle, the seat is one of the most reliable strongholds for Republicans in the state House.

Republican candidate Marc Vann with HD 10 Rep. Elizabeth Porter

Elizabeth Porter endorses Marc Vann as HD 10 successor

Republican Rep. Elizabeth Porter, who faces term limits in 2018, endorsed Marc Vann to succeed her in North Central Florida-based House District 10.

“Marc Vann is the right leader to continue to fight for District 10. I have known Marc for years, and I have no doubt that his background and integrity make him the person we need to make sure our region is well represented in Tallahassee,” Porter said.

“He’s one of us, and he has a deep understanding of our area’s needs and our opportunities. Marc will go to bat for us in the Florida House.”

Vann, who filed in October, is one of four candidates running for deep-red HD 10 in 2018. The Lake City Republican is the co-owner of Vann Carpet One and his wife, Sheree Vann, has worked as Porter’s district secretary since 2014, and still holds the position according to the Florida House website.

“Elizabeth Porter is a highly respected leader in the Florida House,” Vann said. “I’m honored to have her support, and I look forward to continuing the high standard of public service she set for District 10.”

Vann is running in a three-way Republican Primary against Benjamin Leon and Chuck Brannan III. Also running is no-party candidate Fred Martin, who filed his paperwork Wednesday.

Through December, Brannan led the pack in fundraising with $44,233 on hand in his campaign account, though $25,000 of that money came in through loans. Vann was the second-place candidate with $23,359 in the bank, while Leon has not reported any campaign contributions after nearly a year in the race.

HD 10 covers the whole of Baker, Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties as well as a small piece of northwestern Alachua. Outside of the Panhandle, the seat is one of the most reliable strongholds for Republicans in the state House.

The GOP has a four-point advantage over Democrats in voter registrations, but the district has voted much more conservatively on Election Day than the numbers imply.

In 2016, President Donald Trump stomped Hillary Clinton in the district with 72 percent of the vote – his third-highest margin after HD 3 and HD 5.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons