OCALA, Fla. — Republican candidate Ryan Chamberlin won the primary election for the Florida House District 24 seat. He will now face Republican write-in candidate Robert Fox at the general election on May 16.
Chamberlin beat out four other GOP candidates winning 35.97% of the votes.
The four other candidates were Charlie Stone, Jose Juarez, Justin Albright and Stephen Pyles.
There were 61,421 registered voters eligible to vote in the election with 11,095 ballots counted, according to Marion County Supervisor of Elections.
Chamberlin, 48, is a Belleview resident, an author and CEO of the True Patriot Network, a conservative social media and news platform.
Throughout his campaign, Chamberlin has been endorsed by conservative organizations, including Florida Family Action, led by John Stemberger.
“Ryan will be a staunch advocate for life, parental rights, and religious freedom, and we are proud to endorse him,” Stemberger wrote in a press release.
Benny Johnson, a chief creative officer at Turning Point USA, endorsed Chamberlin in a video posted to Johnson’s Instagram account, which has over 1 million followers.
“Send someone to the Florida State House who is pro-faith, family and freedom,” Johnson said.
This is not Chamberlin’s first run for political office. In 2020, he ran for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District seat and lost to Rep. Kat Cammack in the Republican primary.
If elected, Chamberlin said he wants to focus on issues such as inflation, education and veterans’ rights.
District 24 encompasses the southwest half of Marion County after the state legislature redrew districts. Prior to the 2022 election season, the district included most of Flagler County and part of Volusia County.
The special election was called when former Rep. Joe Harding resigned after being indicted by a federal grand jury in December on wire fraud, money laundering and other charges.
The Marion County Democratic Party commented on its Facebook page that it had three possible candidates for the race but couldn’t get their qualifications completed in time to run.
If all candidates are registered under the same party, then the primary is open to all registered voters in the district. However, after Fox entered the race as a write-in, the primary was only open to registered Republicans.
Robert Fox, an Ocala resident, is the owner of Foxy Bail Bonds. If elected, he said he plans to draw on his experience as a bail bondsman to focus on how the judicial system and law enforcement handle those incarcerated with mental disabilities.
Fox, 50, claims he was tricked into running as a write-in candidate by political consultant Brett Doster, a Chamberlin consultant, according to the Ocala Gazette. As a write-in candidate, Fox’s name will not appear on any ballot. A space is provided for his name to be written in on the general election ballot.
Doster works for Chamberlin and has donated money to his campaign. Chamberlin told the Ocala Gazette he had no knowledge of Doster working with Fox.