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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Brandon Peters narrowly secures Democratic nomination for State House race, will face Chuck Clemons

Opponent Olysha Magruder lost by about 3%

Voters watch as election results release at an election watch party at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company Aug. 23.
Voters watch as election results release at an election watch party at Cypress & Grove Brewing Company Aug. 23.

After a tight race, Brandon Scott Peters won the Democratic nomination over opponent Olysha Magruder for Florida’s 22nd State House District. 

Peters beat Magruder by around 4 percentage points, collecting around 52% of the total vote overall. He won by 550 votes, showing significant advantage in Gilchrist and Levy counties with gaining about 67% and 74% of the votes respectively. Magruder, on the other hand, won around 53% of Alachua County’s votes.

“The voters had an opportunity to judge everyone on their relative merits,” Peters said. “It was a close race.”

Results for the race were filed by noon Friday, as required by Florida statute

The general election will take place Nov. 8, where Peters will face Republican candidate Rep. Chuck Clemons. Clemons currently holds office in Florida’s 21st State House District, and has served since 2016. Due to redrawn district lines, if reelected, he will occupy the 22nd District seat.

Peters' campaign received more than $110,000 in donations, according to a Transparency USA report. Donors for Peters include Kayser Enneking, Democratic candidate who ran against Rep. Chuck Clemons in 2020, and Ken Russell, Democratic candidate who ran against Annette Taddeo in Florida’s 27th Congressional District Tuesday. 

"With a 1200 vote cushion from the rural counties, we were able to absorb the 700 vote deficit we faced in Alachua County,” Peters said in a release Wednesday.

Magruder, 44, conceded Wednesday morning and pledged to support Peters in the general election. She said both candidates felt united against their Republican opponent.

“I am understandably disappointed that we didn’t win the primary, but I am proud of the campaign that we ran,” Magruder said. “I am 100% behind [Peters] for the general elections to defeat Chuck Clemons.”

Clemons’ campaign focuses on education funding, anti-fracking and private-sector legislation, according to Clemons’ website.

Peters, who has previously served as a trial lawyer for decades, said his campaign is critical of Clemons’ decisions on infrastructure.

Some of the most pressing legislative bills Peters looks to challenge are SB 100 and SB 7068 — toll road expansion bills that Clemons historically supported. The bills allowed for toll creation on existing high-traffic urban roads and the creation of additional turnpikes across the state, respectively.  Clemons voted against later amendments to SB 7068, one of which would define license tax parameters.

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“We’ll be making the case for why we believe my approach is more inclusive, more fair and ultimately better for the residents of District 22,” Peters said.

As the general election draws closer, Peters said he plans to continue being visible to district residents on the campaign trail.

“We are filled with gratitude for the wonderful support we received from our dear friends, both old and new,” Peters said in a release.

Contact Aidan Bush at abush@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @aidandisto.

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Aidan Bush

Aidan Bush is a second-year journalism major and the city and county commission reporter for the Alligator. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Citrus County Chronicle. When not writing, he enjoys creating videos, water activities and spending time with his friends.


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