Sebring- The Florida Democratic Party has announced that Allen Ellison will replace April Freeman as its candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 17.
Freeman died unexpectedly last week at age 54. She was running against Republican state Sen. Greg Steube of Sarasota.
District 17 includes parts of southern Polk County, as well as several counties to the south. The incumbent, Republican Tom Rooney, chose not to run for re-election.
In instances whereby a candidate dies, Florida statutes require party leaders in each county of the district to nominate candidates before a replacement is chosen.
The Florida Democratic Party described Mr. Ellison as a community leader in Highlands County and founder of the Center for Economic & Policy Development Inc. That organization works to spur economic growth throughout Central Florida and rural parts of the country, a news release from the party said.
“We congratulate Allen on his nomination, and thank everyone who stepped up to run under such unfortunate circumstances,” FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo said in the release. “This has been a difficult process for everyone involved as April was a beloved member of the Democratic Party. We know Allen will continue the hard work she started to turn Florida’s 17th Congressional District blue.”