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Roach wins Republican primary in District 79

September 5, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

For Spencer Roach, the reality of him being the Republican candidate in State House District 79 hadn't really sunk in even after he learned he had won.

More than 200 people turned out for his victory party Tuesday at Three Fishermen in North Fort Myers. Roach made his rounds, thanking his supporters while looking at the big picture of what lies ahead, the General Election.

"It's kind of surreal. It hasn't sunk in yet and I'm trying to process it," Roach said minutes after learning of his victory.

Roach, running for public office for the first time, took 58.72 percent of the vote (7,408), defeating Matt Miller, who took 41.42 percent (5,207).

"I said from the beginning our campaign was going to be run on grass roots support. I have personally knocked on 4,000 doors in District 79 from Suncoast Estates to eastern Lehigh," Roach said.

Roach will take on Democrat Mark Lipton, who was unopposed on the Democratic side in the Nov. 6 General Election, with the winner taking Matt Caldwell's seat, who termed out.

Roach, who ran a clean campaign with Miller, expects to do the same against Lipton and, even though the district has leaned Republican in recent years, he is not going to take his opponent lightly, especially in this political climate.

"Voters are like juries. You think you know the outcome, but you really don't know until the case goes to them. We are expecting a tough race," Roach said. "I know Mark. He's a great guy and he's going to be a real competitor in the race and we're going to take him seriously."

Miller, who didn't take any outside campaign money and still got more than 40 percent, was disappointed in losing for the third time as an anti-establishment candidate, but understood it was hard to "beat the establishment money."

"I guess I lost again. I've been fighting the establishment for years and we have to take money out of politics," said Miller, who promised to donate his salary to charity if he won. "I'd like to know how much they spent on this race because I didn't take money from anyone."

 
 

 

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