Republican Shannon Elswick announced Monday that Lake County Property Appraiser Carey Baker had endorsed her in the Republican Primary race to take over for termed-out Rep. Larry Metz in House District 32.

“Shannon Elswick will be an excellent state representative,” Baker said. “He is a true servant leader whose conservative values and understanding of the toughest issues facing Florida will make him a strong voice in Tallahassee. I look forward to working with him to strengthen the communities of Lake County.”

Baker, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, has held the property appraiser job since the 2012 elections. He previously served two terms in the Florida House in the early 2000s, followed by several years in the Florida Senate.

“I am honored to have Carey Baker’s support,” Elswick said. “He is a true patriot, and, as a fellow veteran, I appreciate his distinguished service to our country in the military as well as the outstanding public service he provides to our community. He understands what it takes to get things done in Tallahassee, and I welcome his insight and look forward to working with him on behalf of the residents of Lake County.”

Elswick is running against Monica Wofford in the Republican Primary for the seat, which covers south and central portions of Lake County, including the cities of Clermont and portions of Leesburg.

So far no Democrats have filed to run for the seat, which carries a dominant voter registration advantage for Republicans over Democrats. In his three elections since the seat was redrawn in 2012, Metz has not faced an Election Day opponent

Elswick, who filed in February, had raised $19,275 for his campaign through the end of September, compared to just shy of $9,000 for Wofford. Elsick also holds the cash on hand lead with about $17,500 in the bank compared to about $4,800 for his opponent.

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