Diana Finegan started early and finished strong, winning the Citrus County Commission District 2 Republican Primary in commanding fashion.
Finegan, the first announced Citrus County candidate who started her campaign a year ago, took 57% of the vote over Stacey Worthington’s 43%.
Finegan now faces no-party candidate Paul Grogan.
The District 2 race pitted two political newcomers who have a few things in common. Both candidates are Republican women who live in Homosassa. Both own air conditioning companies with their husbands.
The similarities stopped there.
Finegan aligned herself with the far conservative wing of the county Republican Party and banked on Republicans going that route in the Primary.
Worthington entered in the race in January, started slow, but eventually outraised Finegan in campaign contributions.
Then there’s this: Grogan, whose entry in the race closed the Primary to Republican voters only. Grogan openly supported Finegan in the Primary, leading some to wonder whether he’d be a shill opponent if Finegan won.
Finegan and Worthington took dissimilar paths during the campaign.
Worthington, Vice Chairwoman of the Citrus County Planning and Development Commission, spoke about attracting quality growth to a community that saw the Suncoast Parkway, in the works for over 20 years, open to State Road 44 in Lecanto in February.
She suggested tweaks in the county’s formula for repaving residential roads, a contentious issue among citizens, which Worthington says will provide more work where it’s most wanted.
Finegan focused on taxes. She opposed any tax increase, saying the county has millions of dollars in reserves that could be used for programs and services.
Labriola, who in 2021 lost a job with the Miami-Dade County Commission over published anti-LGBTQ views, led an unsuccessful effort to regulate Citrus County Library displays.
Two days later, following online criticism, Finegan removed mention of the endorsement from her Facebook page. She hasn’t addressed the endorsement, though she said she agrees with Labriola that library displays should be regulated.
The attention to her campaign didn’t stop there.
Finegan recently posted a photo at an early voting site. Grogan, who had shared Finegan’s campaign information on his Facebook page prior to getting into the race, commented on the photo: “I hope (and pray) you win the primaries.”
Finegan responded: “Wow Paul! I’ve never met an opponent like you. Lol. Thank you for your kindness and prayers. I’m sure our race will be much nicer than the one I’m currently in.”