'We Aren't Worried': Florida GOP Chair on Transgender Democrat Running For House Seat

'We Aren't Worried': Florida GOP Chair on Transgender Democrat Running For House Seat

Florida GOP Chairman doesn't think transgender candidate Ashley Brundage will be able to flip a Tampa House seat blue

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
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April 12, 2024

TAMPA, FL—Florida may have its first transgender Lawmaker in Tampa Bay's House District 65, though conservatives don't believe she will be able to flip the long-held Republican seat blue.

Democratic candidate Ashley Brundage, a small business owner and former DEI educator, is challenging Republican Representative Karen Gonzalez-Pittman in House District 65—an area that hasn't elected a Democratic Rep. since 2012.

Running on an insurance reform, economic empowerment, and bodily autonomy campaign, Brundage told The Floridian, "We're running a pro-choice campaign because that's a winning issue, and the Republican Party knows that and they're scared of it."

However, Florida GOP Chair Evan Power tells us that because of Republicans' near 900,000 voter lead in the Sunshine State, they aren't worried about Brundage unseating Gonzalez-Pittman.

"We aren’t worried because we work hard to continue to succeed. We Republicans are close to flipping Hillsborough County and we are nearing a historic 1 million voter registration advantage over FL Dems," Power said.

The seat she plans to flip has been Republican-occupied since 2014. Lying within Hillsborough County, House District 65 stretches from the affluent Westchase suburb down the Tampa coast to MacDill Airforce Base on the Bay, comprised of twelve zip codes, 48.9 square miles, and over 179,000 residents.

Hillsborough, a typically blue county, went in DeSantis' favor in 2022. However, while House District 65 hasn't gone blue in almost a decade, its voter makeup is marginally even, with a breakdown of 37% Republican, 32.2% NPA, and 31.8% Democratic citizens.

"On top of that, the Republican Party of Florida’s first quarter fundraising success is three times that of what Nikki Fried brought in," Power continued. "We are ahead because voters support our policies that continue to make the Sunshine State the best for residents to live, work, and play."

Florida Republicans raised over $3.5 million from 7,507 donors in the first quarter of 2024, compared to the Florida Democrats' $1.3 million from 5,271 donors.

Democratic Rep. Christine Hunchofsky told The Floridian she was in support of Brundage's campaign, saying, "It’s always good to see people want to run for office and make a positive difference in their communities."

The Florida Democratic Party echoed Rep. Hunchoflsky and welcomed her to the race. Democrats assert that they will "contest every race.

“We welcome Ashley Brundage into the race for House District 65. If elected, she would make history as the state’s first transgender lawmaker. In 2024, we are looking for candidates who will contest every race and hold Republicans accountable for their failed culture war agenda. Democrats are focused on solutions to the issues voters care about — like fighting for our reproductive freedom, affordability and the property insurance crisis — and that’s how we’ll win in November," stated Nikki Fried, Chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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