Defuniak Springs Republican Shane Abbott raised more than $50,000 in his first two weeks running to succeed term-limited Rep. Brad Drake in House District 5.
Abbott is one of three Republicans running for the North Florida seat, which covers all of Holmes, Jackson, Walton, and Washington counties as well as part of Bay County. He faces Jackson County Commissioner Clint Pate and Marianna Republican Vance Coley in the primary.
Though Abbott’s finance report has not yet been posted on the Florida Division of Elections website, the candidate said it will include “notable support from local leaders,” such as Drake, who has held the seat since 2014.
“I am truly humbled by the amount of support our campaign has received already,” Abbott said. “It’s a testament to the level of excitement for our campaign and our shared message. These folks are my friends and neighbors and we’re fighting to protect our conservative values and our way of life for future generations. We’re off to a great start – but we’re just getting started.”
Abbott grew up in DeFuniak Springs and graduated from Pensacola Junior College and the University of Florida, where he received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. He has run a local pharmacy, The Prescription Place, since 2006.
The business owner has served on the Northwest Florida State College Board of Trustees since 2016 and is currently the vice chair. He’s also the vice president of Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform, a statewide group of neighborhood pharmacists focused on preserving patient access to affordable prescription drugs.
Abbott is a member of the Florida Pharmacy Association and serves on the government affairs committee.
He holds seats on the Institutional Advisory Committee for Emerald Coast Technical College and the Emerald Coast Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
HD 5 is favorable to Republicans. Drake hasn’t faced a challenger in the general election since 2016, when he earned more than two-thirds of the vote against no-party candidate Jamey Westbrook. In 2014, he earned nearly three-quarters of the vote against Libertarian candidate Karen Schoen.
However, district lines will shift ahead of the 2022 election because of the once-per-decade reapportionment process. Depending on how lines shift, the current candidates for HD 5 may not be running for the same seat come August 2020.
As it stands, Coley has only raised $350 for his campaign since entering the race in June. Pate, who filed for the seat shortly after Abbott, has not yet announced his February numbers.