After a brutal 2012, Cary Pigman should have an easier path this election cycle with no primary opponents or credible general election threats.
With a background in medicine, including working as a doctor alongside the Marines, Pigman was involved in one of the most competitive legislative primaries last time out. Pigman beat Randy Johnson, a former member of the Florida House, by a small margin in the Republican primary back in 2012. Pigman eventually won by 34 votes and went on to the general election.
Thought the district leans conservative, Democrats had a bit of a surprise in store for Pigman in Crystal Drake who proved to be a solid candidate. Pigman won by 10 percent but Drake, who is to the right of the middle of her party, was no pushover, doing well by focusing on agriculture in this rural district.
So far, Pigman doesnt have a major Democrat gunning for him this year and Drake has stayed on the sidelines. Tony Jerome Munnings from Lake Placid filed to run against Pigman at the start of April and didnt impress in his first weeks in the race. He didnt raise any money of his own and relied on $100 he loaned his campaign.
Munnings will need to step it up dramatically if he wants to make it a race against Pigman. So far the Republican incumbent has raised more than $102,400, relied on almost $2,300 of in-kind donations and spent less than $32,700.
Despite being a freshman, Pigman has played a prominent role in Tallahassee, serving as vice chairman of the Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation despite his lack of seniority. His background as a doctor also serves him on the Health and Human Services Committee, the Healthy Families Subcommittee and the Select Committee on PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Pigmans military service, which included a deployment during his time in the House, is also put to work on the Veteran and Military Affairs Subcommittee. Important to his district, Pigman also sits on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee.
Pigman has carved out a larger role than most of his fellow freshmen and hes poised to be a force in the House for some time to come. Though he lacks a traditional political background, Pigman is well-positioned for the future. Despite being 55, Pigman should be a force in Tallahassee for the years to come, especially as he looks headed to an easy victory in November.
Tallahassee-based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.