Former news anchor Alan Cohn said he is “strongly considering” a bid for Florida’s 15th Congressional District. That’s based on draft redistricting maps showing the district with a Democratic tilt.
Cohn won the Democratic nomination in CD 15 before losing to Republican Scott Franklin in November. But based on the draft maps, most expect Franklin, a freshman Congressman based in Lakeland, to run in the reimagined Florida’s 28th Congressional District.
An MCI Maps analysis shows the new CD 28, as imagined in four drafts published by the Florida Senate Reapportionment Committee, would lean right. More than 56% of voters in that new district voted for Donald Trump for President in November over Democrat Joe Biden. Meanwhile, more than 53% of voters in the reimagined CD 15 voted for Biden.
All this has fueled speculation as to who will jump into a race for a potentially open seat. Cohn ran in the district in both 2020 and 2014, but he’s not the only Democrat with experience knocking on doors in east Tampa Bay.
Political newcomer Eddie Geller, a Democrat already filed to challenge Franklin in CD 15, raised upward of $131,610 to run, largely on the strength of a viral launch ad with a campaign jingle.
But there’s also talk former state Rep. Adam Hattersley, who ran in 2020 but lost the nomination to Cohn, could make another go.
And Rena Frazier, a co-founder of the All For Transportation pro-transit committee in the Hillsborough County, could also jump in on the Democratic side. Frazier in 2016 challenged then-state Rep. Ross Spano, a Dover Republican, for his legislative seat.
That the district includes Thonotosassa has some pining for a rematch between former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat, and former Senate President Tom Lee, a Republican. The two Thonotosassa residents won their respective party nominees for statewide office in 2006 when Sink won the Cabinet job. Sink has run for Congress unsuccessfully since then, and rumors swirled about Lee seeking another office when he left the Florida Senate last year.
And then there’s Spano, who went on to win a seat for Congress in the existing CD 15. He lasted in the House for just one term and was plagued by a campaign finance scandal the whole time. Ultimately, he lost a Primary challenge to Franklin last year. But Dover sits in the center of maps of the newly configured CD 15.
All speculation must include the caveat that the maps under consideration remain drafts and could change significantly as the Florida Legislature deliberates in coming months.