This district represents the heart of the First Coast, stretching from parts of Nassau County to parts of Duval, St. Johns and Flagler counties before ending in Volusia County. In what appears to be shaping up into one of the more intense Senate races in the Sunshine State this year, Republican Party of Florida chairman Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, is facing two challengers in his bid for re-election.
Both of Thrashers opponents have made the incumbents support of SB 6 --a measure reforming teacher performance pay that passed the Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist --a chief issue of the campaign.
Deborah Gianoulis, the Democratic candidate and a fixture for decades as a news anchor in Jacksonville, raised almost $52,000 in cash in the second quarter of 2010 and took out almost $7,500 in loans for the campaign. Dr. Charles Perniciaro, who is challenging Thrasher in the Republican primary, raised more than $16,000 and took out an eye-opening $330,000 in loans, spending more than $197,000 of that already.
Thrasher has raised more than $217,000 for the campaign so far and has spent more than $123,000. With the emergence of Gianoulis and Perniciaro, Thrasher has ramped up his campaign -- raising more than $151,000 in the second quarter and spending more than $98,000 during the same period.
Rebbecca Ann Holcomb is running as a write-in candidate.