Congressional hopeful Ken Sukhia beat out his Republican primary rivals in a straw poll held at the end of last week by conservative group Florida Family Policy Council.
The straw poll was held after a debate in Tallahassee on Thursday. Sukhia, who served as U.S. attorney in North Florida under President George H.W. Bush, took 42 percent of the vote with Tallahassee attorney Mary Thomas in second with 28 percent. Dr. Neal Dunn and businessman Jeff Moran are also running in the Republican primary.
“I thank the debate attendees who cast their ballots for me and hope they’ll join in my fight to fix Washington and return conservative values to America,” said Sukhia. “Our district deserves someone with a proven conservative record who won’t back down to the Washington establishment. I’m ready for the fight!”
Sukhia entered the race at the end of March. He has reeled in the support of some prominent figures including conservative author Peter Schweizer and former Congressman Bill Grant who ran for the Senate in 1992 against Bob Graham, the father of current incumbent Gwen Graham who is retiring after a single term in Congress.
After the latest round of redistricting, the seat became far more advantageous for Republicans. No Democrat has stepped in to replace Graham yet though there is talk that Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda who currently represents parts of Leon County in the House and is term limited in November, could run. Libertarian Rob Lapham is also running.
Under the new map, the district takes all of Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Jackson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington counties, less than half of the population of Leon County, most of Columbia County and fractions of the populations of Marion and Jefferson counties.