Democrat Amanda Murphy Wins Pasco County House Seat
Democrat Amanda Murphy has won the special election for a Pasco County Florida House seat.
According to unofficial results, Murphy - a financial adviser with Raymond James - took nearly 51 percent of the vote in Tuesday's race. Republican Bill Gunter - a pastor at a New Port Richey church - took 49 percent.
The Pasco County elections office reports that 18,842 people voted in the race, which was just short of 20 percent turnout.
A special election for House District 36 was required after Gov. Rick Scott appointed Mike Fasano to be Pasco County Tax Collector in August. Fasano - a Republican - recently broke party ranks to endorse Murphy for his former seat.
USF political science professor Susan MacManus says that's not totally unexpected.
"That's not unusual in Florida, " said MacManus. "After all, Charlie Crist was once a Republican, and Mike Fasano is a friend of Charlie Crist,their more moderate than some of the conservatives in their party, and it's a trend that we are seeing nationally, not just in Florida."
The race attracted attention and lots of spending by both parties.
Murphy, 43, is a financial adviser for Raymond James making her first run for office.
Gunter, 43, is a Presbyterian minister who had the backing of Republican heavyweights like House Speaker Will Weatherford, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning.