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Mark Ziegler becomes second Republican to enter race to replace Jay Fant in HD 15

The long-awaited competitive Republican primary in Jacksonville’s House District 15 is now a reality, with yacht broker Mark Zeigler entering the race Thursday.

Incumbent Jay Fant is currently running for Attorney General.

Zeigler’s rationale for running: “We need more people who understand the impact that the rules made in Tallahassee have on our small businesses. Every time a tax is increased or a new regulation is passed, it raises costs on our businesses and makes it more difficult for jobs to be created.”

Zeigler enters the HD 15 race with Bert Ralston as his political consultant, and will take on Wyman Duggan (whose consultant is Tim Baker, who handles Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry in this market).

Duggan has had steady fundraising. $5,350 of new money in January brought Duggan over $109,000 raised, with approximately $95,000 of that cash on hand.

The entrant of a second Republican in the primary is good news for Tracye Polson, a first-time Democratic candidate running unopposed for the party’s nomination.

Polson has raised $135,347 between hard money and her political committee, with over $91,000 COH.

A lot of Polson’s money ($55,000) is self-financed, and more of it comes from out of the area than is the case with Duggan; however, with the Democratic field clear, Polson can take the high road in what certainly will be a bloodbath of a primary.

The last competitive primary in this district: 2014’s special election, which was a bloodbath between Fant and Paul Renner.

Fant won by two votes, spending $647,000 to win, with $374,000 self-financed.

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Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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