TALLAHASSEE – Speaker-Designate Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park) tonight congratulated House Republicans on winning 81 seats, giving the Republican House Conference a majority of more than two-thirds. En route to winning the 81 seats, Republicans defeated five incumbent Democrats.
“Tonight’s successes demonstrate the strength of our slate of Republican members and candidates and highlight the fact that Republican values of lower taxes, less spending and limited government continue to resonate with voters across the Sunshine State,” said Speaker-Designate Cannon. “I look forward to joining our returning members as well as our more than 30 new Republican members as we work to cultivate a fertile economic environment by shrinking the size and scope of government, empowering the individual, and promoting the family.”
Republican victories in incumbent Democrat seats include are as follows: Elizabeth Porter defeated Debbie Boyd (D-Newberry) in House District 11. Larry Ahern defeated Janet Long (D-Seminole) in House District 51. Jeff Brandes defeated Dave Heller (D-St. Petersburg) in House District 52. Ray Pilon defeated Keith Fitzgerald (D-Sarasota) in House District 69. Gayle Harrell defeated Adam Fetterman (D-Port St. Lucie) in House District 81.
Additionally, in a strongly contested race in House District 119, Republican Frank Artiles defeated Katie Edwards, retaining the seat previously held by Representative Juan Zapata (R-Miami) who could not seek re-election due to term limits.
“Maintaining the strong legacy of Republican leadership in the Florida House is critical as we work to address the challenges facing our state during these difficult economic times,” said Representative Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel). “The growth in our Republican majority will ensure that we can continue our work to keep taxes low and to foster an economic climate where businesses are encouraged to locate and expand here in Florida.”
“Our state is facing many challenges that will require difficult choices, and I am confident that our Republican majority will work to address those challenges in a conservative manner,” said Representative Chris Dorworth (R-Lake Mary) “I am honored to welcome our new members to the Florida House and looking forward to continuing to serve alongside my returning colleagues.”