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Maney advances to general election bid for state rep. seat

Tony Judnich

Republican Patt Maney will face Democrat John Plante and write-in candidate Lance Lawrence in the Nov. 3 general election as they each vie to serve as the next District 4 state representative.

In Tuesday’s primary election, Maney received almost 38 % of the vote while topping challengers and fellow Republicans Jeff Hinkle, Jonathan Tallman and Sandra Atkinson.

Retired Okaloosa County Judge Patt Maney celebrates his Republican primary victory in the Florida House of Representatives District 4 race with wife, Caroline, left, Brian Sparling, right and other supporters Tuesday evening at AJ's on the Bayou restaurant in Fort Walton Beach.

Hinkle received more than 34% of the vote to come in second, Tallman received more than 17% and Atkinson received more than 10%.

Maney, who is an Army veteran and retired Okaloosa County Judge, will seek to replace Mel Ponder as the District 4 state rep.

Retired County Judge Patt Maney, right, celebrates his Republican primary victory in the Florida House of Representatives District 4 race with supporters Tuesday evening at AJ's on the Bayou restaurant in Fort Walton Beach.

Ponder decided not to pursue re-election to that seat so he could run for the District 5 Okaloosa County Commission seat. According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, he squeezed past candidate and current Destin City Councilman Parker Destin to win the commission seat.

“I’m very grateful for the win and for the confidence of the public,” Maney said of his primary election victory. “Of course, it’s only the first step, but I’m very hopeful we’ll do well” in the general election.

“I’m going to take Northwest Florida values and Northwest Florida courtesy to Tallahassee,” he added.

On Jan. 31, 2016, Maney became the longest serving county or circuit judge in Florida’s First Judicial Circuit. As state representative, he said he would work to pass a balanced state budget and then get the infrastructure in place to prepare the workforce for the 21st century.