Eric Eisnaugle Closer to Tallahassee Return After Big Primary Win
Around the State
Former state Rep. Eric Eisnaugle took a step closer to returning to Tallahassee Tuesday, winning the Republican primary in a special election for an open Florida House seat.
With early votes counted and 29 of 32 precincts in, Eisanugle beat out educator Vicki Bell in the Republican primary with 84 percent. Bell took 16 percent.
Eisnaugle is already planning a future House leadership bid, hoping to become speaker after the 2020 elections. House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, and the Republican leadership in Tallahassee were clearly behind him. Weatherford went to bat for Eisnaugle on Tuesday, taking to Twitter to help his former colleague.
“Best of luck to my good friend Eric Eisnaugle today,” Weatherford wrote. “We need him back in the Florida House!”
The GOP leadership in Tallahassee cheered the news Tuesday night as the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) showcased the new nominee.
"The Republican Party of Florida congratulates Eric Eisnaugle on his victory tonight," said RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry. "Eric will certainly serve as a great representative for Orlando families and we look forward to helping him secure victory on April 8th."
Incoming House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, also praised his former colleague.
"Eric's background and experience will allow him to hit the ground running and be a strong advocate for Orange County residents,” Crisafulli said. “His message of economic prosperity and fiscal discipline will resonate with voters in next month's general election."
Democrat Shaun Raja will take on Eisnaugle in the April 8 special election. The district is very solidly Republican.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.