Tim Thomas jumps into SD 19 GOP Primary against Randy Fine
Image via Space Coast Young Republicans Facebook.

Tim Thomas
The Melbourne City Councilman jumped in the race a day before the qualifying deadline.

Update: Tim Thomas failed to qualify. The Division of Elections never posted a partisan candidate oath signed by Thomas, and hours after the deadline confirmed he did not make the ballot.


Melbourne City Council member Tim Thomas has jumped into an open Senate contest. That likely means a most robust Republican Primary in Senate District 19.

Thomas goes up against Rep. Randy Fine, a Palm Bay Republican who already sits on more than $1 million in cash on hand. Republican Chuck Sheridan has also filed for the seat but has raised no money since entering earlier this year.

Thomas’ entry comes a day before the qualifying deadline for Florida legislative races and two days after Robyn Hattaway, seemingly Fine’s most serious foe, backed out of the race.

Thomas first won the Melbourne City Council election in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020. His current term ends this year.

According to his City Hall bio, Thomas also sits on the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport Board. He served in the Alabama National Guard and for 23 years in the Army. Following his retirement in 2010, Viera High School hired him to establish an Army JROTC program there. His wife, Heather Thomas, is a deputy with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Regarding political background, Thomas worked in the 1980s for Alabama gubernatorial candidate Guy Hunt’s campaign, when he became the first Republican to win election as Alabama Governor since Reconstruction. Hunt was forced to resign in 1993 following a felony conviction for misuse of campaign funds.

Democrat Vance Ahrens has also qualified for the race, but the region’s next Senator will likely be the winner of the GOP Primary in the deep red district.

More than 63% of SD 19 voters supported Gov. Ron DeSantis’ re-election in 2022, and 57% of voters there backed Donald Trump for President in 2020.

Of note, Fine already has the endorsement of several key Republican figures, including Trump. However, many have speculated whether DeSantis would recruit another Republican to challenge Fine. While Fine and DeSantis were previously allies, the two had a high-profile falling out last year following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in Israel.

Fine had previously endorsed DeSantis for President but shifted his support to Trump while accusing DeSantis of failing to enforce antisemitism laws in Florida, including ones sponsored by Fine in the Legislature.

The winner will succeed Sen. Debbie Mayfield, a Rockledge Republican who faces term limits and is running for the House this cycle.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Hung Wiil

    June 14, 2024 at 11:15 am

    True, Fine is a douche, but TT is going nowhere. There is no robust primary here.

Comments are closed.


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