Former Democratic state Rep. Ricardo Rangel has dropped from his campaign to run for Congress and filed to try to win back his old Florida House seat that he lost in a party primary two years ago.

Rangel, of Kissimmee, served in the House representing northern Osceola County in House District 43 from 2012 to 2014, but lost the primary to incumbent state Rep. John Cortes of Kissimmee.

On Friday Rangel filed to take on Cortes again. This time there already is a Democrat forcing a primary, so it will be a three-way race between Cortes, Rangel and Sara Katherine Shaw.

There are no Republicans filed to run in HD 43.

Rangel, who took a job this winter with the Gravis Marketing political strategy and advertising company of Winter Springs, first filed last summer to run for Congress in Congressional District 9, representing Osceola, southern Orange, and eastern Polk counties. But his candidacy lagged well behind the Democratic primary front-runners, state Sen. Darren Soto and Susannah Randolph, both from Orlando, and behind two other candidates, Dr. Dena Minning, also from Orlando, and Valleri Crabtree of Kissimmee.

His departure from the race is expected to be a boost for Soto. The district is more than 40 percent Hispanic and observers had assumed that Rangel and Soto would split much of the vote among Hispanics.

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