TAMPA, Fla. - Republican consultant Travis Horn can't remember seeing so many direct mail ads in a State Senate race.
"I'd love to do their mail in the next race," said Horn.
In District 24, relative newcomer Rachel Burgin is challenging veteran lawmaker Tom Lee with attacks both political and personal. Healing the wounds might take time.
"Normally, we kiss and make up on election day, but they might have to wait a few days," said Horn.
The recent redrawing of congressional and legislative districts has set up several contentious Republican primary battles this season. Creative Loafing columnist Scott Farrell says the overwhelming dominance of Republicans in Florida politics also helps to fuel hyper competitive races.
"They all want to be in office, but there are not enough offices to go around. It's musical chairs and when there's no Democrat playing, they have to take each other on," said Farrell.
But even non legislative races are running hot. Hillsborough property appraiser Rob Turner is fighting to keep his job after accusations that he had sent inappropriate messages to a woman in his office who he eventually fired. His challenger is the always outspoken Ronda Storms.
Incumbent Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is in a bitter fight to keep the job he was appointed to against a challenge by long-time former Sheriff Everett Rice.
Democrats are absent or uncompetitive in so many races, some Republican primaries will decide the ultimate winner.
The notable exception is incumbent U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. Nelson is expected to win his Democratic primary and go up against the winner of the Republican primary.
Representative Connie Mack is the front runner in that race and is believed to have at least a chance at winning Florida's second senate seat for the G.O.P.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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