Osceola County School Board member Erika Booth will face Lake Nona businessman Tom Keen after both candidates received their political parties’ nods to move on to the State House District 35 general election on January 16, 2024.
Florida is a closed primary state, so only registered Republicans and Democrats who are in Florida’s House District 35 were able to vote in that race’s primary. District 35 includes parts of east Orange and east Osceola counties
The seat was vacated by Fred Hawkins Jr. who resigned after accepting the position of President at South Florida State College.
In Osceola County, voters chose Erika Booth with 52.29% of the vote, over Scotty Moore with 38.32% and Ken Davenport with 9.4%. Tom Keen won with 38.98% of the vote in the Democratic primary, while Marucci Guzman got 33.01% and Rishi Bagga got 28.01% of the vote.
In Orange County, Democrats supported Keen with 35.44% of the vote over Bagga with 34.39% and Guzman with 30.16%. Republicans selected Booth with 48.06% of the vote over Moore with 31.31% and Davenport with 20.63% of the vote.
Republican Erika Booth, is a current member of the Osceola County School Board, and has experience in elementary education, having actively served in various schools in the Osceola School District throughout her career. She has two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida and a Master of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida. She has also completed the Education Leadership program at Stetson University. She is married to Osceola County Commissioner for District 5 Ricky Booth.
Booth has been endorsed by Florida’s Realtors and the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association.
Democrat Tom Keen, is a Navy veteran and a Lake Nona businessman. He has been active in a number of veteran-service organizations and has served on both the City of Orlando Citizens’ Police Review Board and the Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Council. He has also participated in both Leadership Orlando and the Mayor’s City Academy. 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.