The 2020 race officially begins
The 2020 election is officially underway as qualifying for State House and Senate seats began at noon Monday.
Democrats remain a minority in the State Legislature, but are hoping moderate gains can help level the partisan playing field.
A dropbox replaced the traditional parade of candidates waiting to qualify.
It didn’t stop Rodney Long from Gainesville coming to make sure his paperwork to run for a State House seat got delivered in person.
“So my stamp of approval would be that I personally brought it up here, and I put in the box, so I know it got here,” said Long.
Longshot GOP State Senate candidate Benjamin Horbowy arrived doing his own Facebook live announcement.
“We have to do what no man has ever done before,” said Horbowy.
For the first time since Democrats lost control of the State Legislature in the mid 1990s, a Democrat has filed to run in every one of the state's 120 House seats.
But GOP consultant Brett Doster doesn’t believe it will matter.
“It depends on the district, and it depends on the candidate, but the reality is I think the GOP is still in a very good position to hold the State House,” said Doster.
Democratic data cruncher Matt Isbell believes running someone in every House seat could help turnout and Joe Biden.
“It will give them another reason to come out and will help make them more engaged. Especially as the statewide campaign for President can only be in so many parts of the state at once. It helps kind of operate as a surrogate campaign,” said Isbell.
But Isbell said the State Senate is more important, where Dems are just three seats short of a tie.
“If they can get to 20 and tie, it will very important issue for redistricting coming up,” said Isbell.
The outcome of the Senate races will likely determine which party controls the Legislature into the 2030s.