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14 qualify for northeast Fla. Senate, House races

Departure of John Thrasher to FSU creates 3 vacancies in Florida Legislature

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – More than a dozen candidates have qualified for three special elections next month for an Florida Senate and two state House seats that opened as a result of John Thrasher taking the job as president of Florida State University.

Thrasher resigned from his Senate District 6 seat days after he was elected last month. State Rep. Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, state Rep. Ronald "Doc" Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, resigned their seats to run for the open senate seat.

Senate District 6 includes St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam counties and part of Volusia County. House District 17 is in St. Johns County, while House District 24 includes Flagler County and parts of St. Johns and Volusia counties.

The special primary elections will be Jan. 27, with special general elections slated for April 7. 

When the qualifying period for the three offices ended at noon Tuesday, Hutson and Renuart were joined in the race for the District 6 Senate seat by Republicans Dennis McDonald and Beth Sweeny. The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat David Cox in the General Election.

St. Johns County Republicans Jack Capra, Michael Davis and Cyndi Stevenson, along with write-in candidate Mary Anne Boczek, had qualified to run in House District 17, which is being vacated by Renuart.

Palm Coast Republicans Danielle Anderson and Paul Renner, along with St. Augustine Republicans Sheamus McNeeley and Ron Sanchez qualified to run in GOP primary for House District 24, which will be vacated by Hutson. The winning Republican will face St. Augustine Democrat Adam Morley on the April ballot.