GOP Names Mike La Rosa to Replace Mike Horner in District 42
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Mike La Rosa, part of the family-operated La Rosa Development Corp. in Celebration and Kissimmee, was named to run as the Republican candidate for House District 42.
The majority of Republican Party executive committee members from Osceola and Polk counties agreed on La Rosa after interviewing finalists for the position at the Omni Hotel in Champions Gate.
"I commend Michael La Rosa for his strong desire to serve his fellow Floridians in the state House and his willingness to run under difficult circumstances," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry stated in a release. "The citizens of House District 42 will be well-represented in Tallahassee under his leadership."
La Rosa’s name will not appear on the ballot as he replaces Rep. Mike Horner, R-Kissimmee, who withdrew from the contest on Sept. 24 after his name surfaced on a brothel client list.
Horner had been considered a heavy favorite to win a third term and was expected to land a lead committee role after serving the past two years as chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee for transportation and economic development.
According to the La Rosa Development Corp. website, La Rosa is a Miami native who attended the University of Central Florida, remaining in the area with his brother Michael La Rosa to sell real estate as La Rosa Realty LLC.
The brothers later partnered with their father, Andrew La Rosa, to create La Rosa Development, with projects including Paradise Palms Resort in West Osceola County and the Celebration Office Condos.
The Republican Party of Florida received 18 applications for the chance to take on Democrat Eileen Game, a business executive from Frostproof.
A long shot prior to Horner’s exit from the campaign, Game had raised little money. However, the Florida Democratic Party has sensed an opening and wasted little time in sending out a mailer in the Central Florida district directed at Horner.
The district, which includes portions of Osceola and Polk counties, has a Democrat majority among registered voters, but has tended to vote to the right. The district favored Gov. Rick Scott by 10 percentage points in 2010 and gave a slight edge to John McCain for president in 2008.
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