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Three Northeast Florida Republicans Win Special Election Primaries

Hutson headshot
Florida House of Representatives

Northeast Florida Republicans have elected three candidates to vie for legislative seats in a special election. One former House member is also out of the job after losing in Tuesday’s Senate primary.

When longtime Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) left to become president of Florida State University last fall, two Northeast Florida representatives dropped out to run for his seat. Travis Hutson (R-Elkton) won the Republican primary Tuesday night, beating former Rep. "Doc" Renuart (R-Ponte Vedra Beach) 52 percent to 35 percent. 

Two Republicans also won races Tuesday night to fill Hutson’s and Renuart’s House seats. Cyndi Stevenson edged out two challengers with nearly 42 percent to become the District 17 Republican candidate. And Paul Renner won the District 24 primary with more than 70 percent of the vote.

All three districts cover parts of Putnam, Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties. Tuesday’s winners will go on to face Democratic challengers in the general election, but the districts lean heavily Republican. 

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP