Rodney J. Long Becomes First Challenger For District 8 Florida Senate Seat

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Incumbent state Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, has his first challenger for the 2022 election.

Rodney J. Long, D-Gainesville, filed paperwork Wednesday to enter the District 8 Florida State Senate race. In 2020, Long ran and lost against Yvonne Hinson to represent District 20 in the Florida House of Representatives. Hinson carried over 60% of the vote in November.

Long hasn’t yet raised any funds for his 2022 campaign; in 2020, Long received $34,889.81 toward his state House race.

The 2022 Florida Primary Election, when Long would face any other Democratic challengers, is scheduled for Aug. 23, 2022.

Perry, who has served as Florida’s District 8 Senator since 2016 and prior to that as a member of the state House of Representatives since 2010, has already raised over $60,000 toward his 2022 campaign. During his 2018 race, Perry raised almost $1.5 million in total funds, a figure that surpasses the combined total fundraising of his three opponents that year. In 2016, he defeated Democrat Rod Smith with 52.% of the vote, and in 2018 edged Democrat Kayser Enneking by 1% of the overall vote. No-party affiliate candidate and former Gainesville City Commissioner Charles Goston siphoned off about 2.1% of the vote that year.

Long himself served two terms as a Gainesville city commissioner from 1988 to 1994, and three terms as an Alachua County commissioner from 2000 to 2011.

Keith Perry, left, and Rodney Long, right, could square off in next year’s local state Senate race. (WUFT file photos)

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