Debbie Mayfield defeats Ritch Workman in SD 17
State Sen. Debbie Mayfield


Rep. Debbie Mayfield came out on top in Senate District 17.

According to unofficial election results, Mayfield received 42 percent of the vote. She defeated Rep. Ritch Workman, who received 35 percent.

The race was one of the nastiest in this election cycle. Outside political committees poured thousands upon thousands of dollars into the race, running ads hitting the candidates on their voting records and personal life.

First elected in 2008, Mayfield succeeded her husband — Rep. Stan Mayfield, who died in Sept. 2008 — in the Florida House. The Vero Beach Republican is a staunch opponent of Common Core, and had the backing of Florida Parents Against Common Core. She also was endorsed by the Florida Board of Realtors, the Republican Liberty Caucus, and Florida Right to Life.

The long list of supporters didn’t stop the attacks. Workman called for her resignation after a bio box appeared in Florida Today saying she moved to Brevard County in 2015. And the “Accomplished Conservative Leaders Fund” — a political committee largely funded by Workman’s committee, “Citizens United for Liberty and Freedom” — attacked her voting records, family businesses, and personal loans to her campaign.

Workman took to Twitter on Tuesday to congratulate Mayfield, saying he looks forward to supporting her against Democrat Amy Tidd in November.

Workman didn’t escape the race unscathed. “Stop Career Politicians,” a political committee backing Mayfield, has called out Workman for using taxpayer dollars to send a mailer outside of his House district, votes on immigration, and support for an alimony reform bill.

And after months of attacks, Workman’s wife and ex-wife came to his defense. The campaign released an advertisement featuring both women, who hammered Mayfield for attacking Workman.

First elected in 2008, the Melbourne Republican rose to the position of House Rules chairman under House Speaker Steve Crisafulli. He was endorsed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and his campaign ran TV ads featuring Gov. Rick Scott.


Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


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