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House: District 059
Last updated Jan. 12, 2017: House District 59 in central Hillsborough County is a competitive district, although it has been represented by a Republican since it was created in 2012. District 59's population is composed of roughly 41,606 Democrats compared to 37,269 Republicans, with a block of 30,155 NPA voters. There are sizable minority populations in the district, with 13 percent of the population identifying as black, 18 percent as Hispanic, and 63 percent as white in the latest census. The median age is 36.
The district’s representative is Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, first elected in 2012. Spano, a Brandon native, graduated from the University of South Florida in 1994, and then from Florida State University College of Law in 1998. He is a managing partner of Spano & Woody P.A., which focuses on consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure cases.
Spano won his seat after a four way primary against Mike Floyd, Betty Joe Tompkins and Joe Wicker. Spano carried 40 percent of the vote, and went on to face a difficult race against Democrat Gail Gottlieb. Despite the Democratic wave that swept the nation and Gottlieb’s endorsement by both of the major Tampa area newspapers, Spano managed to eke out a win, 50.8 to 49.2 percent.
In 2014 Spano faced another competitive race against Democrat Donna Lee Fore, but triumphed over his opponent with a comfortable 58 percent of the vote.
He drew challenges from two Democrats in 2016: social studies teacher Golnaz Sahebzamani and commercial litigation attorney Rena Upshaw-Frazier.
Frazier defeated Sahebzamani in the Democratic primary and faced Spano in the general election. Spano won the November election with 54 percent.
Spano is unchallenged in 2018.
Ross Spano (R) 2014 Finance Activity -- Total Monetary Contributions $233,620.00
Donna Lee Fore (D) 2014 Finance Activity -- Total Monetary Contributions $8,410.00
Ross Spano (R) 2012 Finance Activity -- Total Monetary Contributions $191,158.00
Gail Gottlieb (D) 2012 Finance Activity -- Total Monetary Contributions $80,933.60