Republican Joe Gruters will set sail to Tallahassee after taking 65 percent of the vote against Democratic candidate James T. Golden in the Florida House District 73 race.
“I’m thrilled to have been elected and I look forward to serving Manatee and Sarasota in Tallahassee,” Gruters said. “I will fight tirelessly on behalf of our communities to keep our area the best possible place to live and work.”
Gruters thanked all of his supporters and those working on his behalf, as well as Golden.
“I would like to thank my opponent for running a clean race, and I look forward to working with him on some of the issues that he was championing on the campaign trail,” Gruters said.
Golden, who took 35 percent of the vote, said it wasn’t a wasted effort.
“I’d like to thank all of those who supported me in this effort and I’m sure our efforts will not go unnoticed as we move forward to make improvements for our communities,” Golden said. “Our concerns won’t be overlooked. I think we made a statement.”
Gruters said he is ready “to serve, so if anyone has any ideas on ways we can move our community forward, I am ready and willing to meet with any and everyone who wants to help.”
Gruters takes the seat of vacating Republican Greg Steube, who is leaving after term limiting out of office. Steube won his seat in the Florida Senate Tuesday night in District 23.
“This election season, in one way or another, has tested all of us,” Steube said. “It is my sincere hope that we, as Americans, will work together going forward and fight for the principles we so strongly believe in.”
District 70 results
Democrat Wengay “Newt” Newton easily dispatched of Republican newcomer Cori Fournier for the Florida House District 70 seat with more than 76 percent of the vote.
“First and foremost, I see this is a blessing,” Newton said from his home Tuesday night. “I want to thank the voters. After all this election hoopla, it’s the people, it’s not the votes and I have no illusion about that. I’m excited to get started and grateful for the opportunity and I know it’s about the people before the politicians.”
Fournier could not be reached for comment.