The race for the newly formed 16th Congressional District seat sees longtime Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Longboat Key fighting off a strong challenge by Keith Fitzgerald, a former Democratic state representative from Sarasota.
Fitzgerald, 55, is a formidable candidate. A political science professor at New College in Sarasota since 1994, Fitzgerald represented portions of northern Sarasota and Manatee counties in the Statehouse for four years, before being swept out by Republican Rep. Ray Pilon in the GOP wave of 2010.
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