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HD 29 Democrat Patrick Brandt to campaign on springs, schools, health care

Newly-filed Florida House District 29 Democratic candidate Patrick Brandt said he’s running because he believes Republicans in Tallahassee oppose “nearly everything I stand for.”

Brandt, 47, a lawyer from Longwood, filed earlier this week to oppose Republican state Rep. Scott Plakon. Brandt said he is engaging with Gainesville Democratic political consultant Bryan Eastman and bringing on other staff already for a campaign in a district that Democrats won in an upset in 2012, but which Plakon easily took back in 2014.

Brandt, originally from Iowa, worked for Walt Disney World for 16 years, as an emcee, before earning a law degree from Florida A&M University Law School in Orlando in 2014 and becoming a lawyer representing businesses and home owners in insurance disputes. His wife Arielle Brandt also is a lawyer.

He is a newcomer to politics.

“I moved to Seminole county for the reason most everyone moves here: the incredible schools and the counties natural beauty. I support protecting our rivers and our natural springs. I support our public schools and the teachers who make them extraordinary. I believe in our booming industries especially technology and innovation,” Brandt said in a written statement.

“For the last few years, our elected officials have become unapologetically opposed to nearly everything I stand for. Again and again, our overwhelmingly Republican legislature in Tallahassee has voted to open our waters to drilling, our forests to unchecked urban sprawl, our schools to unregulated corporate ownership through charter schools, and our industry to low wages, shorter hours, and fewer benefits,” he added. “Tallahassee has rejected federal assistance to healthcare expansion and accepted middling mandates to aid our infrastructure; a financial burden that falls directly on the middle class and small business. I can no longer stand idly by.”

Plakon is a four-term representative who lost re-election in 2012, switched district and won in HD 29 in 2014, and was easily re-elected last fall.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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