Ted Yoho Draws Another Dem Opponent in North Florida
Marihelen Wheeler, a middle-school teacher in Gainesville who ran for the Florida House in 2012, is setting her sights higher as she filed to run against U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
In 2012, Wheeler ran a scrappy campaign but was outspent by primary rival Clovis Watson. However, she did reel in some endorsements, especially from teachers’ unions, including the Alachua County Education Association and the Marion County Education Association. She has also garnered the backing of the Alachua County Young Democrats.
Wheeler took more than 41 percent of the vote against Watson in the primary. But she does not have an open shot at the Democratic nomination as Aquasia Johnson McDowell is already running for that party’s nomination.
Yoho will be a heavy favorite in this Republican-leaning district. Despite his narrow upset win over U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., in the 2012 primaries, Yoho appears safe in this North Florida district. He reached out to voters in rural counties across the region to beat Stearns, and he remains strong there.
Clay County, right outside of Jacksonville, is one of the most Republican counties in the state and makes up almost 40 percent of Yoho’s district. Granted, Democrats do better in Gainesville (where Yoho is from) but even a strong showing there won’t be enough to propel a Democrat to victory here. Whoever emerges with the Democratic nomination will be the underdog here.