Incumbents lining up for 2018 legislative races


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – While votes have not been counted in the 2016 elections, more than two dozen incumbent state lawmakers or newly elected lawmakers have already opened campaign accounts to run in 2018.

In many cases, those candidates were unopposed for their seats this year, giving them a jump on preparing to run in 2018, including raising money.

As of Tuesday morning, the list of 2018 legislative candidates included incoming Sen. George Gainer, R-Panama City; Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach; Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville; Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby; Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg; Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring; incoming Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation; incoming Rep. Jayer Williamson, R-Milton; Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R-Saint Johns; Rep. Charlie Stone, R-Ocala; Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood; Rep. Danny Burgess, R-Zephyrhills; Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando; incoming Rep. Thad Altman, R-Rockledge; Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park; Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia; Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa; Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral; Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers; Rep. Bobby DuBose, D-Fort Lauderdale; Rep. Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek; Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation; Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach; Rep. Joe Geller, D-Aventura; Rep. Sharon Pritchett, D-Miami; and Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, according to the state Division of Elections website.