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Spencer Roach captures District 79 race
November 6, 2018

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When Spencer Roach started his quest to become the state representative for District 79 10 months ago, he said he was going to do it the old-fashioned way, by knocking on doors and lots of walking.

On Tuesday, all that shoe leather paid off with the Republican scoring a convincing victory over Mark Lipton in District 79, following the trend most GOP candidates experienced, with about a 60-40 split in support.

Roach got 58.94 percent of the vote to Lipton's 41.06 percent in a race where civility by both candidates prevailed.

"I personally knocked on 5,124 doors in every nook and cranny of District 79, and I learned being personal still matters to a voter," Roach said. "Behind every door was a person and behind every person was a story and I want them to share their stories with me and take a piece of all of them to Tallahassee with me."

Roach, who worked for U.S. Rep. Frances Rooney before running for office, said working in the office whetted his appetite.

"I've been engaged in the process for a long time, but working with him got me engaged in policy. When the opportunity came up after Matt Caldwell termed out, I threw my hat in the ring and went for it."

Lipton congratulated Roach on his victory and said that what he was told about running as a Democrat in Lee County pretty much came true.

"I was told running as a Democrat I would get 40 percent of the vote and I got 41 percent. I think we turned out more numbers. I don't walk away from tonight with any sadness," Lipton said. "I met a lot of great people I will keep in touch with and will continue with my civic activities."

One of the main traits during the campaign was the civility from both candidates. "We didn't attack each other and, while we could have debated more and had more media coverage, the demographics dictate how these local races will turn out."

"In the beginning we committed to running a clean campaign and that's what we did," Roach said. "Our race should be the model of civility which we desperately need to return to politics."

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