A trio of Democrats have filed to run against incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Miller in his Orlando-based District 47 seat, but party officials have their eyes on a fourth candidate.
Enter Patrick Chapin, the son of beloved former Orange County mayor Linda Chapin and the current CEO of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his business experience and service in the community, Chapin is truly self-sacrificing when it comes to taking care of American soldiers. In fact, he’s currently resting up from donating one of his kidneys to a U.S. Marine who was staring down a long waitlist.
Chapin’s story would be pretty powerful on the campaign trail if Democrats can convince him to shift his post-recovery focus from training for his next endurance event to a state House campaign.
If he entered the mix, the former Sarasota YMCA director would join Henry Lim, TV professional Beth Tuura and Tom Feeney accuser Clint Curtis in the Democratic Primary. So far, none of those candidates have pulled away in the race. Tuura is perhaps in the best position. The Emmy-winning technical director leads the other Democrats in the money race and was recently named one of Ruth List’s seven “Women 2 Watch” in the 2016 elections, though she’s $80,000 short of matching Miller in the fundraising game.
HD 47 is a seat Democrats let slip away last cycle, when Miller edged out former Rep. Linda Stewart 52-to-48 on Election Day. With voter registrations nearly even between the parties, a presidential election is likely to draw enough people to the polls to flip the seat back – if Democrats field a strong candidate.