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Four candidates running for Julio Gonzalez’ House seat

Four candidates have filed for the state House seat being given up by Republican Rep. Julio Gonzalez so he can pursue the congressional seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney.

Republican Nicholas Trolli opened his campaign account ahead of Gonzalez’ announcement he would run for Florida’s 17th Congressional District, and since then another three candidates have entered the race.

The most recognizable by far is Republican James Buchanan, who was his party’s nominee in the recent special election for House District 72, which was ultimately won by Democratic Rep. Margaret Good.

HD 74 is the third district Buchanan, the son of U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, has filed for – he initially sought HD 71 before switching over to the HD 72 special.

Trolli filed for the seat on Feb. 28 but reported no contributions for the final day of the month, putting him and Buchanan on even financial footing in the Republican Primary albeit with a three-week head start for Trolli.

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Also running for the seat are a pair of Democrats. Yves Junior Chery opened a campaign account on March 15 and Timothy Fitzgerald followed five days later.

House District 74 covers southern Sarasota County, including Venice and Northport and has a hefty advantage for Republicans.

The district voted 60-37 in favor of President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. By comparison, neighboring HD 72 voted 50-46 for Trump.

Gonzalez ran a couple points ahead of Trump two years ago, beating Democrat Manny Lopez 63-37 on Election Day.

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Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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