Orange County Republican chair Charles Hart files in HD 39

Charles Hart
The Apopka-based district has two other Republican candidates and two Democrats.

Orange County Republican Party Chair Charles Hart has filed to run for the new House District 39 seat representing northwestern Orange County and western Seminole County.

Hart, a lawyer, was first elected as Orange County Republican Chair four years ago and has twice been re-elected, staving off faction challenges. His Seminole County-based law firm offers general practice.

Redistricting carved out what essentially is an all-new district as HD 39, based around Apopka and the Wekiva Springs region of northwestern Orange and western Seminole. There is no incumbent. It has drawn two other Republican candidates and two Democrats.

Hart, a longtime player in Orange County politics, filed Thursday.

“For decades I have helped elect Republican leaders to serve our community in Tallahassee and in Washington,” Hart said in a news release.

“I’ve had a front-row seat watching what our Governor and the leaders of our state have done to courageously lead and successfully create a state that values individual liberties, empowers parents to have more control over their child’s education, and supports our local economy. Now, I want to help write the next chapter of Florida’s success story. That starts by protecting Florida from federal overreach and the dysfunction of Washington, D.C. Florida is a nationwide leader because we have become a laboratory of great ideas and bold reforms — a place that gets things done and is proactive in finding solutions to challenges on the horizon.”

Other Republicans in the HD 39 contest are Apopka City Commissioner Doug Bankson  and Apopka real estate agent Chuck Burt. Democrats include employment consultant Tiffany Hughes of Longwood, and real estate investor Luther Dowe of Longwood. Dowe ran in 2020 as a Republican in the old House District 29.

The new HD 39 should be just about evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, based on the results of precincts in the past few General Elections.

“As a small business owner, I will bring a commonsense, results-oriented, conservative vision to state government that keeps Florida’s economy growing, balances our state’s budget without raising taxes, and protects Florida’s place as a nationwide leader in fiscal responsibility, economic growth, election integrity, and education innovation,” Hart pledged.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


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