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Crime stopper: Mike Beltran is behind a bill that would boost nonprofit organizations that help prevent crime by enhancing confidentiality and protection for tipsters.

Tampa Bay

Mike Beltran wins tough GOP primary in HD 57

Attorney Mike Beltran is the Republican nominee in HD 57 after his victory in Tuesday’s primary over challenger Sean McCoy.

HD 57 is currently represented by Lithia Republican Jake Raburn, who announced he was not running for re-election to devote more time to family and business.

Democrat Debbie Katt was running unopposed.

The Republican side of the ballot was quite the scrum, though.

Beltran sued McCoy for defamation following a mailer that accusing him of helping an illegal alien get out of jail and back on the streets.

Beltran, a Harvard Law School alum, called it a “defamatory hit piece” and said he was appointed to defend the client by a judge. Beltran said he asked for a 15-year sentence followed by deportation.

Raburn endorsed McCoy, a West Point graduate and U.S. Army veteran.

“Sean’s record of service to his country and his commitment to our conservative principles makes him the best choice to serve our community in Tallahassee,” Raburn said.

“I know Sean will work tirelessly to fight for the conservative values we hold dear and protect our local agriculture industry to help grow our economy. With Sean McCoy in Tallahassee, District 57 will be in good hands.”

Katt, a software designer from Valrico, is a political newcomer.

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I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.

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