Republicans to vote on Rep. Mike Horner's replacement

Horner drops out District 42 race after name linked to prostitution

Republicans in Osceola and Polk counties will be selecting a new candidate to replace Rep. Mike Horner, who dropped out of the race on Monday after being connected to a prostitution scandal.

Horner announced he wouldn't be seeking re-election for the District 42 seat after his named appeared on a list of clients that surfaced during a prostitution investigation. He hasn't been arrested or charged.

Candidates had until Friday to apply for the nomination and the state Republican Party is expected to announce the list of applicants sometime Friday afternoon. A nominating committee made of party members from Osceola and Polk counties will select a candidate to run for the district.

The committee will choose the finalist based in part on the candidate's name recognition, fundraising capabilities and ability to quickly assemble a campaign team.

"This person has to be somewhat robust because you're condensing a whole year's campaign into about five weeks," said Danny Sexton, the Osceola GOP chair.

Horner's opponent, Democrat Eileen Game was considered be a longshot in the race until Horner bowed out.

Horner's name will remain on the ballot and new candidates name won't appear, since the ballots have been printed already, meaning the new candidate will have to encourage supporters to vote for Horner.

"They do help with that, having some information in each of the polling booths the people step in," Sexton said. "There will be something that says a vote for Mike Horner is a vote for this person."

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