Amanda Linton Drops Out Of Senate Race

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY AUG 13, 2020

A Manatee County Senate race saw a sudden shift in its lineup Wednesday when Democrat Amanda Linton announced she would withdraw from the contest. Her reason? The COVID-19 pandemic, or more notably the economic consequences of it, are forcing her family to move out of state.

“My husband was faced with no choice but to close our small business,” Linton wrote in an open letter. “For the past several years, he has built a commercial restaurant maintenance company; the statewide shut downs brought his workload to a screeching halt. Since then, he has taken a job out of state. We spent the majority of the summer separated and it is time for our family to reunite. The boys and I will be moving soon to join my husband in the Memphis, Tennessee area.”

Jim Boyd, the likely Republican nominee, said he was surprised by the news. “While I looked forward to the debate of issues on the campaign trail, my thoughts are with her and her family during this transition,” he said. “I wish them the very best.” He faces a Republican primary Tuesday against John ‘Mr.Manners’ Houman. The winner of that race advances to the general election.

The change has political consequences. Since Linton was the only Democrat running and had secured the nomination, state law allows party leaders to choose a replacement candidate. Tracy Pratt, Manatee Democratic Party chair, said several candidates have already expressed interest, and a new candidate will be announced within the next few days. “We are disappointed she had to resign her race, but like many other working Americans, Amanda Linton’s family has been greatly impacted by the challenges of this pandemic,” she said.

Pratt, who ran for state House two years ago, did not say if she would be one of the applicants. She did say she expects wide interest because Democrats feel the seat is winnable, more so than it seemed last summer when Linton jumped in the race.

The selection process will be similar to one used in 2018 in a south Sarasota Congressional district when Democrats needed to replace nominee April Freeman after her unexpected death. Then, candidates from across the state applied to run for a rare open Congress seat now held by Republican Rep. Greg Steube. An open state Senate seat may draw interest from outside the region as well.

At the same time, a new candidate starts fundraising from scratch; Linton’s account won’t transfer to a different candidate. Boyd as of July 31 had $91,979 in cash on hand and $468,831 available in an associated political committee, Building On Your Dreams.

And the district, represented now by Senate President Bill Galvano, remains right leaning. About 42% of registered voters ahead of the primary are Republicans, with 31% Democrats and another 27% independents or third-party voters.

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