Benacquisto wins District 27 State Senate primary
It was a tough, nasty campaign at times, but in the end, it was the incumbent who came out ahead.
Two-term State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto rolled past Jason Maughan to win the Republican 27th Senate District primary on Tuesday by a more than 2-to-1 margin. She will face write-in candidate Dakota Austin Eads in the general election on Nov. 8.
Benacquisto, who was first elected into the State Senate in 2010, garnered 68.6 percent of the vote to earn her second four-year term as she focused her campaign on her record of achievements.
After the lopsided win, she showed her appreciation for the support.
“I am humbled by the support I got from the voters. It’s great they recognize the hard work we have done, and we’re looking forward to continue to work on their behalf,” Benacquisto said. “Southwest Florida voters are well informed and they trust us with another four-year term.”
Maughan, a Sanibel attorney, fought to put a halt to what he said were false and misleading campaign ads regarding a 1995 arrest in Washington state and to get the opportunity to debate Benacquisto. His platform centered around the water quality issues of the district.
Maughan was proud of the fight he and his team put up, but lamented not really getting a fair shake.
“I’m proud of the job my team did. This was a grass roots campaign that started two months ago in my kitchen,” Maughan said. “If only I had been allowed one debate, one interview, I believe the election would have been a blowout in my favor.
Maughan said he hopes Benacquisto will do her best to address water quality inuring the next four years.
With only a write-in candidate to worry about, Benacquisto isn’t going to rest on her laurels. She said she will continue to engage with the voters and encourage them to vote in the presidential year.
“We’ll get out and talk with the voters and encourage turnout. We will be active and engaged and earn their support.”