Candidates line up for seats held by Mercado, Donalds

With Rep. Amy Mercado, D-Orlando, and Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Naples, running for other offices this year, new candidates have emerged to try to replace them in the Florida House.

Democrat Daisy Morales opened a campaign account Thursday to run in Orange County’s House District 48, according to the state Division of Elections website.

Mercado is not seeking reelection in the district because she is running for Orange County property appraiser. Morales joined fellow Democrats Nelson Pena, Anthony Tsonis, and Samuel Vilchez Santiago in the race.

Also this week, Democrat Laura Novosad opened an account to try to replace Donalds in House District 80, which is made up of Hendry County and part of Collier County. Donalds is running for Congress this year.

Also in the race is Republican Lauren Melo. Meanwhile in North Florida, Democrat Rock Aboujaoude Jr. opened an account to run against Rep. Chuck Brannan, R-Macclenny, in House District 10. The district is made up of Baker, Columbia, Hamilton, Suwannee, and part of Alachua counties.