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Senate Hopeful Inspired by Medicaid Expansion Loses


  Democratic candidate Judithanne McLauchlan, who was inspired to run for Florida Senate District 22 against incumbent Republican Jeff Brandes because he was the only vote in the Senate against an alternative to Medicaid expansion, lost 57 percent to 43 percent.

During the 2013 Legislative session, Brandes was the lone vote against state Sen. Joe Negron’s alternative to Medicaid expansion. The plan, which would have drawn down $51 billion in federal funding over 10 years under the Affordable Care Act, was ultimately defeated by the Republican-controlled House.   

Throughout the campaign, McLauchlan said Brandes' vote against a plan she said would have covered nearly 1 million low-income Floridians was what “propelled” her into the race.

The district covers most of Pinellas County and extends to South Tampa.

--Health News Florida is part of WUSF Public Media. Contact Lottie Watts at 813-974-8705 (desk) or e-mail at For more health news, visit