Joe Negron scores massive win in special state Senate electionby George Bennett | August 4th, 2009
Negron beat Democrat Bill Ramos by a 3-to-1 margin in Senate District 28, which includes all of Martin County and parts of Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
Negron, 47, will serve the final 15 months of Pruitt’s Senate term and face reelection in 2010.
Popular Tallahassee veteran Pruitt, 52, announced in May he was stepping down because of family and economic concerns. He endorsed Negron in the special election.
Negron pledged during the campaign to protect the St. Lucie River, promote the region’s biotech economy and boost education spending despite the overall shrinking of the state’s budget.
“I’m looking forward to working hard to continue building on the foundation that Senator Ken Pruitt built with the research coast,” he said tonight.
Negron, an attorney who was born in West Palm Beach, served in the state House from 2000 to 2006. He gained national attention in 2006 when the GOP drafted him as its late replacement candidate after scandal-tarred Mark Foley resigned. Negron narrowly lost the race to Democrat Tim Mahoney.In the special Senate race, Negron raised nearly $500,000 while Ramos raised only $40,046. Negron ran three TV ads, targeted absentee voters with direct mail and paid for get-out-the-vote phone calls.
Ramos couldn’t afford TV or a significant mail campaign. Ramos, a Jensen Beach mortgage broker, also lost state House bids in 2006 and 2008.
“You can’t win against that kind of money,” said Martin County Democratic Chairman David Dew. “It takes money to run in this district.”