Two very different House seats drew new Democratic challengers last week and on Tuesday, according to filings with the Florida Division of Elections.
Rep. Rene Plasencia, a Republican from the Orlando area, will face at least one challenger from the other side of the aisle in his quest for a third term representing the closely competitive District 49, consisting of part of Orange County along the I-4 corridor in the center of the state.
The district offers Democrats a voter registration advantage, but Rep. Joe Saunders was knocked off by Plasencia last year amid low turnout in the November midterms.
Democrats there are hoping Augustin “Gus” Martinez, who runs a religious charity to aide the homeless, can rally the Democratic faithful. Saunders told SaintPetersblog last month he is considering a run in his old seat in which he would immediately become the Dems’ frontrunner were he to mound a bid.
Meanwhile in a race with a very different electoral complexion, two Democrats are now engaged in a primary to succeed term-limited Rep. Hazelle “Hazel” Rogers in deep-blue District 95, based in Broward County’s Lauderdale Lakes.
Patrick Jabouin, Sr. has opened a campaign account to run there, joining fellow Democrat Roxanne Valies, who filed paperwork to run for the House back in March.
Jabouin was a community outreach liaison with Broward Sheriff Scott Israel‘s office as of 2013. He is also a former president of the Caribbean American Democratic Club of Broward County, according to Brittany Wallman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
[Update 5/20: revised to reflect that Martinez is running in District 49, not District 39 as was originally reported in his Division of Elections paperwork.]