Bradley takes newly drawn Senate District 7 seat
Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:19 p.m.
In a Florida Senate race pitting a University of Florida alumnus against an undergraduate, the alumnus won handily.
Republican Rob Bradley defeated Democrat William Mazzota nearly 58 percent to 42 percent in unofficial results from the District 7 race with some absentee ballots still to be counted.
"I'm just proud to have the opportunity to represent the people of District 7," said Bradley, an Orange Park attorney and former Clay County commissioner.
The newly drawn district includes Alachua, Bradford and Clay counties. Bradley won more than two thirds of the vote in Bradford and Clay counties, while Mazzota took nearly 57 percent of the vote in Alachua County.
Mazzota, a 21-year-old environmental science and political science major, said he was unable to campaign full-time and pleased to win Alachua County.
"I think I put as much effort into it as I could have as a student and I'm proud of what I did," he said.
Bradley was running unopposed before the state Democratic Party paid the qualifying fee for Mazzota to enter the race. Alachua County had been represented before redistricting by Steve Oelrich, a former county sheriff who made a failed bid for U.S. Congress.
Bradley, a former criminal prosecutor, now specializes in municipal law as managing partner of an Orange Park law firm. He said he will focus on job creation and education in the Legislature.
With UF being part of his district, Bradley said he'll have a particular interest in maintaining the university's status as the state's flagship.
"That is a priority of mine, to focus on university issues and higher education issues," he said.
Mazzota plans to attend law school and is uncertain if he'll run again for elected office.
"I'm 21 years old. It's a little early to predict what the next couple decades have in store," he said.
Contact staff reporter Nathan Crabbe at 338-3176 or email@example.com. Visit www.thecampussun.com for more stories on the University of Florida.