Deland Republican Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff has drawn a challenger in her reelection bid and the race for the South Florida seat held by House Speaker José Oliva continues to grow.
Fetterhoff is being challenged by Democrat Evans Smith from Daytona Beach, who formally launched a campaign for HD 26 on Friday. Smith joins fellow Democrat Patrick Henry, also from Daytona Beach, in the race to unseat Fetterhoff.
Fetterhoff has held the seat since 2018 when she snatched it from Henry by a razor-thin margin. She won the seat by 61 votes.
Henry won the seat in 2016 when he defeated Republican Michael Cantu in what was also a tight race. But Henry was able to garner 52.9% of the vote that year.
HD 26 snakes through the center of Volusia County from Deland in the west to the coastline along much of the I-4 corridor.
HD 110, currently held by Oliva, also added a Democratic candidate. Annette Collazo last Friday joined fellow Democrat Diana Ahmed in running for the seat.
HD 110 represents a small sliver of inland Miami-Dade around Miami Lakes and Hialeah.
Oliva, a Republican, is term limited from seeking another two years in office as he serves out his term this year. He didn’t face an Election Day challenger in 2018, though he did win reelection in 2016 by more than 10 points.
The Republicans seeking to fill his seat this year include George Garzia and Alejandro Rizo Jr.