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Rep. Thad Altman

Legislative Campaigns

Thad Altman draws primary challenger

Matt Nye is trying again in 2020.

Indialantic Republican Rep. Thad Altman is no longer unopposed in his House District 52 reelection bid.

Melbourne Republican Matt Nye entered the race Tuesday, setting up a potential primary election for the Brevard County-based seat.

So far, Altman and Nye are the only candidates in the race.

Altman has had a presence in the Legislature for the better part of two decades. He was first elected to the Florida House in a 2003 special election. He was reelected twice before jumping to the Florida Senate in 2008.

After terming out in the Senate, he returned to the House in 2016 after earning a third of the vote in a four-way Republican primary.

Nye is no stranger to the HD 52 ballot — he challenged Altman in 2018, earning 44% of the vote in a two-way nominating contest.

After winning in the August primary, Altman went on to earn nearly two-thirds of the vote in the general election, where he was up against Democratic nominee Phil Moore.

Heading into 2020, Altman had raised $14,500 for his campaign and had nearly all of it in the bank.

That advantage could erode, however, as Nye’s entry comes at the start of the 2020 Legislative Session, during which sitting lawmakers are barred from raising campaign funds.

Nye showed some life in the 2018 cycle, raising about $23,000 for his unsuccessful bid, or about a third of the $68,820 raised by Altman ahead of their primary election showdown.

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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