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Rodrigues, Botana, Giallombardo, Persons and Roach Win GOP State Legislative Primaries

Florida Capitol
Florida Capitol

Tuesday’s Primary election results for Southwest Florida’s state legislative districts did not yield any absolute results, but voters have now set the stage for a number of general election races. In the contest for Florida’s Senate District 27, Ray Rodrigues defeated fellow Republican State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen. The district covers western portions of Lee County including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva. Rodrigues and Fitzenhagen were both elected the state House in 2012 and are now term limited out of the chamber.
Rodrigues now faces Democrat and Naples resident Rachel Brown, who had no primary challenger in the primary. The winner will replace the current Senate District officeholder, Republican Lizbeth Benacquisto.

In the GOP primary race for State House District 76 seat, Bonita Springs small business owner Adam Botana defeated Sanibel attorney Jason Maughan. The district covers coastal portions of Lee County including Sanibel, Pine Island, Matlacha and Bonita Springs. The seat is being vacated by Rodrigues who won the GOP Senate District 27 primary. Botana now goes on tot face Democrat Anselm Weber in the November general election.

In the Republican primary for the State House District 77 seat, Mike Giallombardo defeated Bryan Blackwell. This is the Cape Coral state house seat being vacated by fellow Republican Dane Eagle, who just lost the primary contest for Florida’s Southwest Florida’s U.S. Congressional 19 District seat to Byron Donalds. Giallombardo is an Army veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and now serves as a warrant officer in the Florida National Guard. Giallombardo previously ran for Florida’s 19 congressional district seat during a special election in 2014 after the resignation of Trey Radel.
He now faces Democrat Joshua Lopez in the general election.

Attorney Jenna Persons won the GOP primary race against two other challengers for Florida’s State House District 78 seat. Persons defeated business owner Roger Lolly and health care consultant and educator Charlie Lynch. The district covers inland portions of Lee County including the communities of Estero and Gateway. The district is currently held by fellow Republican Heather Fitzenhagen who just lost a state senate primary contest with Ray Rodrigues.
Persons now goes on to face Democrat Shawn Williams, who faced no primary challenger.

In the Republican primary race for Florida’s State House District 79 seat, incumbent Spencer Roach defeated challenger Randy Allen-Scott. Roach became an assistant state attorney in Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit in the fall of 2019. The North Fort Myers resident is also a retired U.S. Coast Guard officer and judge advocate. Roach will now seek a second term in a general election contest with Democrat Danika Fornear.
Each of these state legislative races are set to be decided in the Nov. 3 general election.

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