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Chris Cause looks to challenge Josie Tomkow in HD 39

Tomkow was reelected in 2018, defeating Democrat Ricky Shirah by 17 points.

Chris Cause, who currently works as a teacher at a juvenile correction facility in Barstow, has entered the race to challenge Rep. Josie Tomkow in House District 39.

“I work every day to get my students to see the true value of education and inspire them to change their lives for the better,” Cause said in a statement announcing his decision to run as a Democrat.

“I want to use that same passion to improve the lives of the citizens in District 39, and the entire state of Florida.” The district includes parts of Osceola and Polk counties.

Cause said the issues of education, health care and traffic will be his top priorities should he reach the Florida House. That could be a difficult task for Cause, however, as the district has gone Republican by at least 17 percentage points in the last two elections.

Tomkow took over the seat after winning a special election in May 2018. That special election was called after Rep. Neil Combee resigned to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tomkow was reelected in 2018, defeating Democrat Ricky Shirah by 17 points.

Cause has also served in leadership for the Polk County Democratic Party. Kathie Sutherland, Chairwoman of that group, said she backs Cause’s effort to challenge the incumbent.

“It was clear to me from the onset that this bright, educated, and capable young man would be willing and able to be a public servant as an elected official,” Sutherland said.

“I have now worked with him as a fellow officer in the Polk County DEC. This has reinforced my opinion that he is reliable, resourceful, and personable. I strongly support Mr. Cause’s decision to run for the house legislative seat of HD 39. I have confidence that he will serve the best interests of Floridians.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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