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Primary challenger for GOP reps focuses launch on early session end

Could this be an omen of things to come? People are already jumping into the 2016 state legislative election pledging never to leave session early like the House did last week.

Gary Price, a former city councilman in Naples, announced Monday that he’ll seek the GOP nomination to replace Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, who faces term limits next year. The other two Republicans who have announced interest are Naples Reps. Matt Hudson and Kathleen Passidomo.

That’s Price’s jumping off point. In a press release announcing his candidacy Monday, Price set up what could become a common campaign refrain as representatives seek reelection or higher office in 2016, facing fellow Republicans in the primary and Democrats in the general election.

“Sadly, members of the Florida House did a disservice to their constituents last week by walking away from their Constitutionally-required duties and leaving unresolved legislative issues on the table,” Price said in the release.

"The Florida Senate, on the other hand, completed its work, held vigorous debates and tackled the tough issues facing our great state,” he continued. “That is what leadership is all about, not walking away. That’s the kind of principled body of real leaders that I’d like to serve in.”