SD 13: Andy Gardiner a Heavy Favorite to Keep Seat and Senate President Plans Alive

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 23, 2012 3:55 AM
Chris Pennington and Andy Gardiner

Chris Pennington and Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner

Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, is in line to become Senate president after the 2014 elections and he has the edge in SD 13 over a Democratic opponent as he looks for a second term in the upper chamber.

Gardiner is a veteran of the Legislature, with stints in the Republican leadership of both chambers. First elected to the Florida House in 2000, Gardiner rose to become House majority leader after the 2004 elections. When he faced term limits in 2008, Gardiner ran for the Florida Senate and won his current seat which represents parts of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. After redistricting, Gardiner is running for a seat that is more to the east, including parts of Brevard, Orange and Volusia counties.

As he introduces himself to voters in new parts of the district, Gardiner has a healthy war chest in place as he looks to win a second term. So far in this election cycle, Gardiner has hauled in more than $420,000 in cash and more than $4,100 through in-kind donations. So far Gardiner has spent more than $55,000 this election cycle. With an open shot at the Republican nomination, Gardiner has more than enough in the bank as he looks to head back to Tallahassee in November.

Gardiner will face a Democratic candidate in November in Chris Pennington. A businessman and attorney who can practice in both New York and Florida, Pennington served as an assistant public defender under 9th Circuit Public Defender Robert Wesley. Pennington is stressing the need for economic changes due to increased technology and his belief in individual rights, ranging from defending the Second Amendment to more freedom for same-sex couples.

Having entered the race in early June, Pennington has his work cut out for him to catch Gardiner in the money race. So far in this campaign cycle, Pennington has raised more than $4,700 and relied on $600 through in-kind donations. He has loaned his campaign more than $2,500. Pennington has spent more than $3,500 so far in the campaign.

Like Gardiner, Pennington faces no opposition for his party’s nomination. The two candidates will square off against each other in November with no minor party or independent rivals in the race.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (1)

Karl Jr.
8:01PM NOV 8TH 2012
Andy wasn't such a " heavy favorite " afterall. 53% against 47 %. Ouch! Not a favorite percentage, and definitely not a heavy one. Lol!

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