A Heartland native, Florida Rep. Ben Albritton (R-Wauchula) pulled away early to win the State Senate District 26 seat in Tuesday’s General Election against political newcomer Catherine Price (D-Lake Wales).
At the time of this report, Albritton received 116,983 votes where Price had only received 62,687 in the district, which encompasses all of Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Glades and Okeechobee counties, as well as parts of Polk, Charlotte and Lee counties. Charlotte, Hardee and Highlands counties were still tallying their results.
“It is a huge task to be a State Senator,” said Albritton. “It's a huge blessing that our constituents turned out and chose us."
The seat opened up when current Sen. Denise Grimsley (R-Lake Placid) made an unsuccessful run in the Republican primary for state commissioner of agriculture.
Campaign fundraising was an early sign of the mountain Price had to climb. In the end, Albritton raised just over $340,000 for his campaign, whereas Price raised just under $49,000, according to the most recent reports from Florida’s Division of Elections.
While Albritton believes fundraising helped his campaign in reaching the district’s constituents, his party’s message played just as much a part of the win.
"I believe that our message about being deeply interested in every corner of the district and spending time talking to voters has shown our constituents that we care,” said Albritton. “That’s not going to change when we walk through the door in Tallahassee. It was important to them and it is important to me."
Price, a nurse and public health administrator, promoted better health care and improved access to affordable care in the state.
“There is a lot that needs to be done in Florida,” said Price. “I think that I did the best that I could. I think that we traveled extensively (but) it’s a very conservative area. I hope that my opponent will make himself more available to the community and understand the problems that are out there.”