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Cotton gets early start in House race

SEMINOLE He says the early bid is an effort to build his war chest.

Published July 1, 2007


The election is more than a year away, but Bruce Cotton has already announced he'll be back for another try in the race for state House District 51.

Cotton ran for the seat in 2006, losing the Republican primary to Dottie Reeder, the former mayor of Seminole. Reeder lost to Democrat Janet Long in the general election.

"If you're running against an incumbent, you have to start early, " Cotton said Thursday.

The early start, he said, will give him time to build a larger war chest and to get his message out. With a fat pocketbook and a strong message, Cotton said he might be able to avoid competition in the 2008 primary.

Cotton said he is running because some issues are unsolved. One of those is affordable housing. Cities and counties are beginning to catch on to the importance of having workforce housing, especially in heavily urbanized counties such as Pinellas. But the state, he said, has been slow to react.

As for the two biggest issues of the last legislative session - property taxes and insurance - he said, "I don't think either one went far enough."

The Legislature's action on insurance, he said, was a "Band-aid" that got watered down later in the session. And the Legislature neglected to give business owners a much-needed tax break, he said. Business owners, he said, need as much help as those who have homestead exemptions, rent, or own second homes.

Cotton, 44, was born in Orlando and moved to the Seminole area in 2002. He has an associate's degree in public administration from Daytona Community College and a bachelor's degree in political science and public administration from the University of Central Florida. He is a former legislative aide to Leslie Waters, who held the District 51 seat before she termed out last year. He is now a baccalaureate job placement specialist for St. Petersburg College.

District 51 includes Seminole, portions of Largo, Pinellas Park, South Pasadena and the west Lealman area. Representatives serve two-year terms and earn $30, 996 per year.

Past players

House District 51

In the 2006 race, Bruce Cotton lost the GOP primary to Dottie Reeder, who lost the general election to Janet Long.

[Last modified June 30, 2007, 23:06:56]

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