Dozens of state House and Senate seats in the Tampa Bay Area are are up for grabs on Election Day. But only a handful are truly competitive. WUSF's Steve Newborn gets the inside track on three of those races with longtime political reporter William March.
We focus on three local races:
- Senate District 18 in Hillsborough County. Democratic polling shows Democrat Bob Buesing down since the start of a barrage of negative ads against him early October by state the GOP. Republican Rep. Dana Young has been accused of ducking candidate forums. Independent candidate and strip club magnate Joe Redner has taken out billboards saying Young is "hiding."
- Senate District 23 in Sarasota County. This pits Republican State Rep. Greg Steube versus political newcomer and New College professor Frank Alcock. Steube bested a lot of name players in the GOP primary, including Rep. Ray Pilon, Doug Holder and Nora Patterson, but March said there's a possibility the professor has a chance.
- House District 59 in east Hillsborough County. Democrat and political newcomer Rena Frazier is challenging Republican Rep. Ross Spano, who's going for his third term in the state house. Surprisingly, this race is a tossup, with Frazier becoming one of the strongest local Democratic hopes, March said.