With Florida House Majority Leader Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, facing term limits, a familiar face is looking to replace him in representing parts of Orange County: former Rep. Eric Eisnaugle.
First elected to the Florida House in 2008, Eisnaugle was redistricted in 2012 and found himself in the same district as Precourt. Eisnaugle stepped aside and bypassed running in 2012 to focus on returning to Tallahassee in 2014.
Speaking to Sunshine State News on Tuesday, Eisnaugle said he was comfortable with his decision to let a fellow conservative and a good friend in Precourt stay in office for two more years.
Absolutely no regrets, Eisnaugle said about his decision not to run in 2012. It was the right thing to do.
Despite being in the district since he finished school and his previous service in the Florida House, Eisnaugle said he will go back to the tactics he used when first elected back in 2008.
Its all about knocking on doors, talking to voters, learning from them and what they are concerned about, Eisanugle said. He noted that he and his wife knocked on more than 17,000 doors back in 2008 and said he planned on doing something similar in 2014. We plan on doing that all over again. Its the best way to understand the district.
So far, Eisnaugle says his conservative message is catching on with the voters. People are really concerned about the size of the government, he told Sunshine State News. Eisnaugle said he intended to take the fight for fiscal responsibility on the campaign trail and if elected in 2014.
Eisnaugle said he was proud of his record in Tallahassee. We fought hard to hold the line on taxes and to reduce spending instead of raise taxes, he said. He said he intended to fight to ensure Florida remains an attractive place to do business and create jobs.
Having launched his 2012 campaign back in February 2011, Eisnaugle kept his campaign organization in place for the 2014 session. Eisnaugle reeled in $20,375 in the second quarter of 2013, bringing his cash on hand -- which also includes money raised during his scuddled 2012 race -- to around $139,600.
While no Democrats have yet to file in this Republican leaning district, Eisnaugle has a Republican primary opponent in Ronney Oliveira who ran unsuccessfully in 2012 against Democrat Randolph Bracy for another Florida House seat representing different parts of Orange County. Oliveira has done little so far since filing his paperwork in February and has filled two waivers regarding his fundraising reports.
An Orlando resident for the last 15 years, Oliveira is a pastor and businessman who has been active as the director of the state Hispanic Civic Alliance. He is also the counsel representative of Brazilians Abroad. In his last campaign, Oliveira called for free-market solutions in the economy and improving Florida schools. He also supported expanding alternative energy.
Sunshine State News tried to reach Oliveira and left a message for him on Tuesday but he did not call back.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 904-521-3722.