Altamonte Springs Republican Rep. Bob Cortes has drawn another challenger in his bid for a third term in Central Florida’s House District 30.
Brendan Ramirez of Orlando entered the HD 30 race Friday, joining Daniel Clark Anderson and Joy Goff-Marcil in the Democratic primary. Ramirez’ entry comes just a few days before the qualifying period begins for state legislative seats. He has until noon on June 22 to make the ballot.
HD 30 straddles the border of Seminole and Orange counties and includes the communities of Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Eatonville, Fern Park, Forest City, Goldenrod, Lockhart and Maitland. About two-thirds of HD 30 voters live on the Seminole side.
Registered Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans within the district, and the seat was held by Democratic Rep. Karen Castor Dentel for the first two years after it was redrawn before Cortes defeated her by 3 points in 2014.
Cortes ran far ahead of the top-of-ticket Republican in the 2016 race, securing a second term with a 7-point victory over Democrat Ryan Neal Yadav as HD 30 voted plus-8 in favor of Hillary Clinton.
This cycle, he has a firm lead in fundraising with more than $120,000 raised and just shy of $100,000 banked as of May 31. Through the same date, Goff-Marcil had raised about $21,000 and had $13,662 on hand while Anderson has $13,460 in his account, most of it raised via candidate loans.
Cortes and Goff-Marcil have both collected enough petition signatures to make the 2018 ballot.
The primary election is Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6.