House contests set as expected throughout Central Florida

Among them: Rep. Fred Hawkins versus Rishi Bagga, Rachel Plakon versus Deborah Poulalion.

Anticipated Central Florida House battles are set for the November General Election, including what may be a marquee matchup between Republican Rep. Fred Hawkins of St Cloud and Democrat Rishi Bagga of Orlando.

Hawkins easily dispatched two Republican challengers, Kenneth Davenport and Dianna Liebnitzky, to win the Republican Primary Election for House District 35, which stretches from northeastern Osceola County through parts of southeastern Orange County. Hawkins drew 53% and Davenport finished second with 33%.

Bagga, meanwhile, appeared to trail Keen Tuesday night in a race for the Democratic nomination in HD 35. But with more ballots coming in overnight, Bagga took the lead over Keen and Tahitiana Munoz-Chaffin of St. Cloud. Bagga had 38.7% of the vote compared to 38.1% for Keen as of the unofficial results Wednesday morning. If those results hold, that margin is outside the recount threshold.

In House District 36, up in northern Seminole County, Republican Rachel Plakon of Lake Mary easily defeated Rich Santos and Angel Perry for the Republican nomination. Plakon took 65%, while Santos finished second with 28%. Plakon is married to term-limited Republican Rep. Scott Plakon who has represented much of the area the past few years.

Democrat Deborah Poulalion of Longwood won the HD 36 Democratic Primary Election in a landslide over Rod Joseph, 70% to 30%.

In House District 37, covering parts of northeastern Orange and southeastern Seminole, Susan Plasencia of Orlando won the Republican Primary Election over Kris Stark, 74% to 26%.

Plasencia, sister of former Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia, gets an HD 37 match with Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando in the November General Election.

In House District 38, Republican Rep. David Smith of Winter Springs easily won the Republican Party Primary toward running for another term in the east-central Seminole district. Smith defeated Patrick Weingart and David Wuertz. Smith took 71% and Wuertz finished second with 20%.

He’ll face Democrat Sarah Henry of Altamonte Springs in the November General Election. She won the Democratic Primary Election over Dominique Douglas, and Ed Measom. Henry took 54% and Douglas finished second with 26%.

In House District 40, covering part of western Orange, LaVon Bracy Davis of Ocoee has won the Democratic Primary Election over Melissa Myers, 64% to 36%.

Bracy Davis, sister of Democratic Sen. Randolph Bracy, faces Republican nominee Nate Robertson of Orlando in the November General Election for HD 40.

In House District 42, Bonnie Jackson of Winter Park defeated David Dwyer in the Republican Primary Election, 54% to 46%.

Jackson will face Democratic Rep. Anna V. Eskamani of Orlando in the General Election for HD 42 in north-central Orange.

In House District 43, Chris Wright defeated Jay J. Rodriguez to win the Republican Primary Election, 65% to 35%.

Wright will face Orange County School Board member Johanna López of Orlando in the General Election for HD 42, representing parts of east-central Orange.

In House District 47, Anthony Nieves of Kissimmee has won the Democratic Primary Election over Andrew Jeng and Dan Marquith. Nieves finished with 37%, and Jeng finished second with 33%.

Nieves will face Republican Paula Stark of St. Cloud in the General Election for HD 47, which covers much of Osceola County except for parts of Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Celebration and Reunion.

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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