Two Florida Democrats have taken the first steps in seeking to replace term-limited Rep. Clovis Watson, D-Alachua.
Gainesville Democrat Rodney Long opened a campaign account to run in 2020 in Watson’s House District 20, according to the state Division of Elections website. Long joined fellow Democrat Yvonne Hayes Hinson in running for the seat, which is made up of parts of Alachua and Marion counties.
While Long opened his campaign account this week and Hinson opened hers last month, no contributions or expenditures have yet been reported, according to Division of Elections records.
Hinson, a former Gainesville city commission member, lost against Rep. Ted Yoho in last year’s midterm election to represent Florida’s third congressional district, which extends south to Ocala and north toward Jacksonville.
Watson himself is running in another race in 2020 — seeking to unseat Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, who’s held the office since 2006.
According to campaign finance records, Watson leads in monetary contributions, raising $17,362 as of Friday afternoon.
Darnell’s campaign has reported raising $1,000 so far. Republican Steven Gordon has also jumped into the race and raised a little over $700.
Qualifying for both positions doesn’t begin until June, with the primary election scheduled for Aug. 18.
The News Service of Florida contributed reporting.