MANATEE -- Incumbent U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, has only two challengers left in the congressional District 16 race going into the 2014 election season, according to state elections division records.
Candidates who have officially qualified for the race include Democrat Henry Lawrence, a former NFL player, and write-in candidate Joe Newman, 101, a retired accountant and a Manatee County resident, the elections di
vision website shows.
Those who failed to file include Mitch Mallett, Joe Venuti and Daniel Durso. Michael Wayne Rodgers has withdrawn.
The 16th congressional district includes most of Manatee County and all of Sarasota County.
"We look forward to a positive discussion of the issues facing FL-16," said Sally Tibbetts, a spokeswoman for Buchanan.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.