A pair of newly-minted state representatives has made it official: Democrat John Cortes of Kissimmee and Eucheeanna Republican Brad Drake have opened campaign accounts for their 2016 state House campaigns.
Drake, probably best known for his eccentric views on capital punishment, took over term-limited Marti Coley’s District 5 seat back in November, winning handily over Libertarian Karen Shoen 76-24. His deeply conservative rural district contains Holmes, Jackson, Walton, and Washington counties as well as part of Bay. Drake stepped aside following redistricting to allow Coley to take the seat after representing a slightly different District 5 from 2008-2012.
Cortes ran unopposed to take over his District 43 seat after winning a somewhat controversial primary challenge against incumbent Democrat Ricardo Rangel. He took roughly 52 percent of the vote to Rangel’s 48 while being outspent substantially.
The two lawmakers will both sit on the State Affairs Committee beginning this session.