Carol Platt, from the Osceola County Realtors Association, won the Republican primary on Tuesday night to challenge U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.
With all votes in, Platt, who had the backing of former Gov. Jeb Bush, took 54.6 percent in the primary. Navy veteran Jorge Bonilla came in a distant second with 29.7 percent, and businessman Peter Vivaldi took third with 15.6 percent of the vote.
Bonilla tried to make Bushs support of Platt an issue in the race. National conservative pundits Michelle Malkin and Dana Loesch backed Bonilla and took aim at Bush endorsing Platt. In response, Platt called on Bonilla to apologize to Bush for his supporters attacks on him.
Despite the heated words, the Republican candidates called for unity after the primary.
I am humbled and honored by the support I received tonight, Platt informed supporters. I am so thankful to be the Republican nominee to take on Alan Grayson and am looking forward to bringing our community together to defeat him. I'm thankful to Jorge Bonilla and Peter Vivaldi for a spirited race and look forward to working together to fight for all citizens of District 9.
Time to come together, Bonilla posted on Twitter, offering his congratulations to Platt on her win.
Grayson easily beat Nick Ruiz on the Democratic side, taking more than 74 percent of the vote in Tuesdays primary.
Despite losing to Republican Dan Webster in 2010, Grayson bounced back to win a new congressional seat in 2012 after redistricting. Democrats have a substantial registration advantage over Republicans in this Central Florida district which contains parts of Orange, Osceola and Polk counties.
Businessman Marko Milakovich, who is running with no party affiliation, will also be on the ballot come November to face Grayson and Platt.
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