Republican Rep. Scott Plakon has drawn his first Democratic opponent in House District 29, which covers part of Seminole County including Lake Mary and Longwood.
Patrick Brandt entered the race on Sept. 1 and is so far the only candidate running against Plakon, who is going for a third term in his second stint in the Florida House.
Brandt is an attorney in Longwood specializing in contracts and real estate law.
If he qualifies for the ballot, Brandt would become the first Election Day opponent for Plakon since he reentered the House in 2014.
Plakon won his seat in that cycle by beating former Democratic Rep. Mike Clelland with 57 percent to 43 percent. Clelland held the seat for one term after winning his own nail biter against former GOP Rep. Chris Dorworth, who was in line to be House Speaker before failing to win re-election.
In 2016, Fred Marra ran against Plakon as a Democrat but dropped out of the race six weeks before Election Day citing health reasons, though some speculate his exit was tied to an old larceny charge that he neglected to disclose.
Despite the southwest Seminole County district flipping in the two elections leading up to 2016 and the fact that Plakon is seen as a reliable Republican vote on issues ranging from abortion to guns to fracking to school choice, the Democrats weren’t able to recruit a replacement for Marra.
Plakon was declared the winner by default in mid-October.