Sam Garrison draws a Democratic challenger in HD 18

Cornelius Jones of Orange Park entered the race Monday.

A Democrat has filed to challenge freshman Republican Rep. Sam Garrison in House District 18.

Cornelius Dwayne Jones of Orange Park entered the race Monday and is currently the only other candidate seeking the seat.

Jones’ first campaign finance report, covering the portion of February he was a candidate, is due in mid-March.

Garrison, meanwhile, had raised $11,000 for his reelection bid as of Jan. 31 and has more than $10,000 in the bank.

Lawmakers are barred from fundraising during the 60-day Legislative Session, which this year begins on March 2.

HD 18 covers part of Clay Count and has a strong Republican advantage. Garrison won election over Democrat Leroy Anthony Edwards last year with more than two-thirds of the vote.

Garrison succeeded Travis Cummings, a Republican who served eight years and chaired the Appropriations Committee in his final two.

Cummings didn’t face a challenger in his final run for HD 18. In 2016, he earned more than 80% of the vote against Libertarian Hubert Snodgrass.

The built-in advantage could change lawmakers will draw a new district map for House, Senate and Congressional seats ahead

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