Clelland defeats Dorworth; GOP picks new speaker designate
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
The man poised to be the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives has been defeated following a hand recount.
Republican Chris Dorworth was defeated by Democrat Mike Clelland in the hotly contested State House District 29 race.
"Today the system proved once again to
work," said Seminole Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel.
Clelland, a political newcomer, is an attorney and retired Longwood firefighter. He won by just 146 votes.
"I am relieved, relieved and happy," said Clelland.
With the Clelland victory, Democrats pick up five seats in the House but are still firmly in the minority with Republicans outnumbering them, 76-44.
"I need to get there and bridge some trust with
the Republicans. There's no question about that," Clelland said. "They have the majority in the
House and the Senate, so I want to do that. I want to find some common ground
with them, and I want to get to work."
Republicans wasted no time in replacing Dorworth, announcing that Rep. Steve Crisafulli will be the new speaker-designate.