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Brad Drake takes next step for Tallahassee return

By Peter Schorsch/SaintPetersBlog

Former state Rep. Brad Drake is one-step closer to his Tallahassee return, now that he won Tuesday's GOP primary for House District 5.

The Walton County Republican defeated Emerald Coast Realtor Jan Hooks by a margin of 72 to 28 percent.

"I'm very thankful to the voters of District 5 for giving me the opportunity to serve our community again. Our team has worked hard to earn this victory, knocking on doors and spreading the word about my campaign, and we wouldn't be here without their dedication. We'll enjoy tonight, but tomorrow is about getting back to work and focusing our efforts on the general election," said Drake.

Throughout the campaign, Drake maintained a substantial fundraising lead, outraising his primary opponent by more than double – finishing the campaign with $382K raised to Hook's $170,000.

Drake served in the House from 2008 to 2012, but after 2012 redistricting, his district merged with that of Marianna's state Rep. Marti Coley. Drake elected to step aside and support Coley for re-election.

Coley cannot run this year due to term limits.

Drake now faces Libertarian Party of Florida candidate Karen Barbara Schoen in November for the district covering Bay, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington Counties.

A Northwest Florida native, Drake served as Rep. Don Brown's legislative aide to before running for Brown's seat in 2008. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Northwest Florida State College.