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Future House Speaker Dorworth Heading For Defeat In Election Stunner

Rep. Chris Dorworth, R-Lake Mary, is fighting for his political life. As future speaker of the House in 2014, Dorworth is one of the most powerful state lawmakers But now it appears it may all be falling down.

In House District 29, Dorworth was losing by 37 votes to Democratic challenger Mike Clelland. The race is within the margin of error and will most likely trigger a recount.

But already, Florida Democratic Party Leaders are heralding Dorworth's demise.

"In a stunning upset, the people of central Florida sent a strong message to embattled Republicans in Tallahassee who put the special interests ahead of the interests of the people they serve.  Dorworth has proven time and again he's not on our side and today the voters reminded him who he works for," said Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith in a statement.

Dorworth raised more than $1 million dollars for his campaign, while  Clelland raised about $70,000. Dorwroth, who was also set to serve as House Majority Leader this year, was widely favored to easily win re-election.

Democrats used mailers highlighting Dorworth's financial problems and questioned his ability to serve as a state lawmaker and Republican leader.

It could be several weeks before voters will know the final outcome of the race.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter @HatterLynn

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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