Republican Tommy Gregory has earned another endorsement in the race for HD 73, after former state Senator Lisa Carlton announced she’d be throwing her support behind Gregory.
Carlton vouched for Gregory’s fiscal conservative vision in her announcement: “I’m confident that he will be a reliable and strong voice for low taxes and other policies that will make our community even stronger.”
Gregory is one of two declared candidates on the Republican side in the HD 73 contest. Melissa Howard entered the race to challenge Gregory for the Republican nomination last month. As of now, the winner will face off against Democrat Liv Coleman, who is so far running unopposed on the Democratic side.
The seat is open after current HD 73 Rep. Joe Gruters decided to run for the Florida Senate to replace Sen. Greg Steube.
Carlton’s support of Gregory could hold sway due to her experience in the Florida political scene. She served two terms in the Florida House after being elected in 1994. She then went on to spend a decade in the Senate representing southwest Florida, serving as Senate Pro Tempore from 2006 to 2008. She is now a guest lecturer at the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida.
Gregory highlighted her political ties to the area, saying, “Lisa Carlton has a distinguished record of public service, both as an elected official and as a private citizen. I’m honored to have her support, and I look forward to working with her and other community leaders who work so hard to make Southwest Florida such a great place to call home.”
If Gregory does become the Republican nominee, he’s likely to prevail come November. HD 73 leans heavily to the right. Gruters defeated his Democratic opponent by more than 30 points in 2016 and ran unopposed in 2014.
Former state Sen. Carlton seems to think he’ll make a good fit. “Tommy Gregory’s leadership experience and service to our country make him the clear choice for District 73.”