Registered voters in select areas of Orange and Osceola counties are able to early vote in the District 35 Florida House Special Election through this Saturday January 13. The race became necessary after Fred Hawkins Jr. resigned in 2023 to become President at South Florida State College. The special election features two candidates: Republican Erika Booth, a member of the Osceola County School Board with a strong background in elementary education, and Democrat Tom Keen, a Navy veteran and Lake Nona businessman.

Erika Booth, known for her educational experience within the Osceola School District and holding two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from UCF, has received the A+ Teacher Award from Spectrum News 13,  has completed the Education Leadership program at Stetson University, and has received endorsements from Florida’s Realtors and the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association. She is a Kissimmee native, a member of the Silver Spurs Riding Club, and married to Osceola County Commissioner for District 5, Ricky Booth.

Tom Keen, is a Navy Veteran involved in multiple veteran-service organizations, has served on the City of Orlando Citizens’ Police Review Board and the Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Council, and is endorsed by Florida Planned Parenthood PAC, and the Orange County Democratic Environmental Caucus. This is not Keen’s first attempt for Florida House District 35. He ran in the 2022 primary but lost to Rishi Bagga, who this time, lost to Keen.

Early voting in Osceola County is available at the Supervisor of Elections Office, located at 2509 E. U.S. Highway 192 at Partin Settlement Rd, and at the Narcoossee Community Center, located 5354 Rambling Road.  Both locations are available for early voting from Saturday, Jan. 6 through Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In Orange County, early voting takes place from Saturday January 6 through Sunday, January 14, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at three locations:

Supervisor of Elections Office: 119 W Kaley St., Orlando, FL 32806
Alafaya Branch Library: 12000 E Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32826
Valencia College – Lake Nona Campus: 12350 Narcoossee Road, Orlando, FL 32832

The Supervisor of Elections in Osceola County has mailed sample ballots to all registered voters in House District 35 who do not have a vote by mail ballot request on file. Registered voters in District 35 may also visit to see their sample ballot.

The general election day for the District 35 seat in the Florida House is Tuesday, Jan. 16 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at regular polling precincts.