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Tracie Davis Bucks Trend, Delivers Decisive Win For Democrats In House District 13

Democrat Tracie Davis (Left) and Republican Mark Griffin (Right)

During a night of bad news for Democrats, Tracie Davis bucked the trend with a decisive victory over Republican Mark Griffin in Jacksonville’s State House District 13.

That’s despite not having her name on the ballot at all.

Tracie Davis found out she won the district with close to 60 percent of the vote early Tuesday night. That left Republican Pastor Mark Griffin with 40 percent of the vote in the highly Democratic district.

Davis ran against incumbent Representative Reggie Fullwood in the August primary and lost narrowly. But after Fullwood pleaded guilty to wire fraud in late September, Duval Democrats picked her as Fullwood’s replacement. It was so late, there wasn't time to reprint ballots, meaning a vote for Fullwood was actually a vote for Davis.

Davis said her decisive win speaks to the strength of Democratic politics in the mostly African-American district.

“This is something very strange to me with the nuance of this race. You’re talking about someone who ran a race and her name wasn’t even on the ballot. So, I’m very excited and pleased and very thankful to the voters of House District 13 for electing me as their new state representative,” she said.

Davis said she has two main priorities when she gets to Tallahassee.

“My background is education. I taught seven years with the public school system. So, it will definitely be education and it definitely will be economic development through small business startups. I actually want that to be my staple,” she said.

Davis will be sworn at the start of the next Florida legislative session.

Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at, at (904) 358 6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.