Update, June 3: This story has been updated to reflect changes in several races, including Democrat Richard Paul Dembinsky dropping out of the race for Senate District 8.
A contentious election is approaching Tuesday, Nov. 8, and West Volusia-area races for Florida’s state House of Representatives and Senate are drawing more contenders.
None of these races are set in stone, because the deadline for potential candidates to file is not until noon Friday, June 17. And, as of June 3, some races still don’t have candidates from both major political parties.
In the case of races with more than one candidate from the sale party, those races will be on the primary ballot, Tuesday, Aug. 23.
Florida House District 29
Following the once-per-decade redrawing of political boundaries, two local Republicans are pitted against each other for their party’s nomination to represent District 29 in the Florida House.
The race as of June 3 has DeLand-area Republican Elizabeth Fetterhoff, currently representing District 26 in the Florida House, squaring off against Deltona-area Republican Webster Barnaby, who is currently representing District 27 in the Florida House.
As of June 1, each of the two candidates had raised more than $100,000 in their bid for the state House.
Barnaby and Fetterhoff will meet in the primary election to see who will represent the Republican Party in the general election against, as of June 1, lone Democratic candidate Rick Karl.
Karl, who lives in DeLand, is an attorney for Cobb Cole. He previously served as the city attorney for the City of South Daytona and the director of aviation and economic resources for Volusia County.
Karl’s father, Frederick B. Karl, held various roles in Florida state and municipal governments, including an eight-year stint representing Volusia County in the Florida House 1956-64.
As of June 3, a second Democrat, Rodenary Joseph of Fern Park, near Altamonte Springs, had just filed to run.
The newly drawn District 29 includes DeLand, Lake Helen, Deltona and Osteen.
Florida House District 27
Florida House District 27, currently represented by Barnaby, was redrawn to include Orange City and DeLeon Springs, as well as a portion of Lake County.
As of June 1, only one candidate had filed to run in this race, Stan McClain, a Republican.
McClain currently serves in the state House, representing District 23 since being elected in 2016. Thanks to redistricting, he will have to run for a different district than he currently represents.
McClain has so far raised more than $50,000 toward his bid to represent District 27.
Florida Senate District 8
Before the passage of redistricting maps, Volusia County’s representation in the Florida Senate was divided into three districts.
Orange City and a part of Deltona were packaged with Sanford and Lake Mary, while DeLand and the rest of Deltona voted along with East Volusia.
In the upcoming election, all of West Volusia — and nearly all of the entire county — make up one Senate seat, District 8.
Just one contender had filed to run for this race as of June 3, incumbent Republican Tom Wright.
Wright was selected to run as the District 14 Republican candidate when incumbent Dorothy Hukill died in 2018. Hukill had won the nomination in August, but died in October, too soon before November balloting for an election to select another Republican candidate, so Wright was selected by a Republican Party panel.
As of June 1, Wright had raised nearly $60,000 for his state Senate bid.
Democrat Richard Paul Dembinsky had previously filed to run for this seat, but, as of June 3, his campaign profile was removed from the State Department of Elections website.
Florida Senate District 7
A Senate district that once included a portion of West Volusia from Seville all the way south to DeLand was trimmed down during the redistricting process. Now District 7, which will include a larger portion of Putnam County, will only include West Volusia communities north of Barberville. This contains Pierson and Seville.
Senate District 7 is currently represented by St. Augustine Republican Travis Hutson, who has served in the Florida Legislature since 2012.
Hutson, who has raised $86,000 toward his campaign as of June 1, has one opponent in the race, Ponte Vedra Beach Republican Gerald James.
James, who has not previously held a seat in the Florida Legislature, describes himself on his website as “the most conservative candidate for the Florida Senate.” As of June 1, he had raised some $20,000 toward his campaign.