State Rep. Travis Hutson has won the GOP special primary election for Senate District 6.
With over half of the more than 23,200 ballots cast, the Elkton Republican defeated fellow state Rep. “Doc” Renuart by 53 percent to 34 percent. As of 8:30 p.m. Hutson had received 12,281 votes to Renuart’s 7,919. Dennis McDonald came in third with 13 percent.
Recently re-elected to House District 24, Hutson had a substantial fundraising lead over Renuart, the Ponte Vedra Beach Republican from House District 17. Hutson now advances to the general election to replace former state Sen. John Thrasher, who vacated his seat last November to become president of Florida State University.
In his concession speech, Renuart said that serving North Florida voters for six years in the Florida House was “one of the great privileges” of his life.
“I am proud of the tough decisions and hard work my colleagues and I have done on behalf of the citizens of this state,” Renuart said.
“While I would have loved the opportunity to serve in the Florala Senate,” he added, “the voters have spoken and I respect their decision.
“I’m thankful to my wife, Tamara, and our family, friends, supporters and campaign staff who worked tirelessly on this campaign and stood by me until the end.”
Renuart then congratulated Hutson on his win, and wished him well in the general election.
District 6 – mostly St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties — leans heavily Republican, and the Democrats offered nominal opposition in the form of David Cox, so it is a good bet the special primary winner will likely be the person filling Thrasher’s shoes after the April 7 general election.