Republican Wilton Simpson was running unopposed for a seat in the Florida Senate until 22-year-old college student, Joshua Smith, decided to run against him. Its not exactly a close race. While Smith spends his days as a part time middle school substitute teacher and his nights taking classes at the University of South Florida, his 45 year old opponent is a major GOP donor, has already raised $220,000, and has television ads running.
"We're behind, obviously," Smith said.
Though Smith’s only experience in politics has been his active participation in the local Democratic party, his enthusiasm hasn’t seemed to waver.
"I said, 'Yeah, it's a perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door,'" Smith told the Tampa Bay Times, after Matt Murphy, a fellow Democrat, convincing him to run. "...At the very least, the Democrats of Pasco have somebody representing them."
Simpson, however, is not especially worried about the competition.
“There’s no question,” Senator Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey told the Tampa Bay Times. "Wilton Simpson will be the next state senator from District 18."
"I'm going to continue to talk about what's important," Simpson told the Times. "I don't think it's going to be just a straight R or D race."
Still, Florida Democrats have not lost all hope.
"I think it'll drive up voter turnout," Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said. "Democrats and independents have a reason to go to the polls on Aug. 14."
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