Pensacola state Rep. Clay Ingram has decided against a run for the state Senate, he announced Thursday.
Ingram was speculated to be a likely candidate in the race to replace Sen. Greg Evers, who is contemplating running for the 1st Congressional District seat vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller. Northwest Florida politicos thought Thursday would be the day Evers would pull the trigger on a congressional campaign, but nothing has been announced.
Ingram did not want to wait any further to announce his 2016 plans: The popular Republican lawmaker wants another term in the Florida House.
“After Congressman Miller made his decision and after the Legislative Session concluded, Leslie and I thought long and hard about what we would do next,” Ingram said. “Being back in Pensacola has reminded me of what’s really important – including as spending time with my family and advancing the goals of the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. That’s why I am excited to announce I am running for re-election to the Florida House.”
Ingram – who chairs the powerful Transportation & Economic Development budget panel – can serve one more term in the House before being termed out.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reported Wednesday Ingram trailed fellow Rep. Doug Broxson in a hypothetical matchup for Evers’ seat, which stretches from the Florida-Alabama border near Mobile to the rural central Panhandle.
The poll, conducted by a little-known Pensacola group called Citizens for a Just Government, showed Broxson besting Ingram and Rep. Mike Hill, though most voters are likely still undecided.
Ingram is sometimes cited as being the most well-known member of the Legislature before he was elected. He played football for Florida State University for four years as an undergraduate, including as a starter for the 1999 National Championship team.