TAMPA, Fla. -- Florida's 15th Congressional District is up for grabs and there are plenty of candidates who want the seat.
- Candidates vying for Florida's 15th Congressional District
- Voters answer Bay News 9's 2018 Congressional poll
- Candidates to rally more for name recognition
In Bay News 9's Exclusive Decision 2018 Congressional poll, voters on both sides were asked who they'd vote for if filling out the primary ballots right now.
For the Republican primary, State Representative Ross Spano emerged at the top of the list with 26 percent. Former State Representative Neil Combee had 20 percent. Business owners Danny Kushmer and Ed Shoemaker each had 7 percent. Homebuilder Sean Harper had 6 percent. And 34 percent of voters polled said they were undecided.
Spano said he was not surprised at the undecideds.
"None of us have done any far reaching efforts of name recognition, we're beginning that right now," Spano said.
For the Democratic primary, there were even more undecided voters. Forty six percent of Democrats polled in District 15 said they had not made up their minds who they wanted to represent them in Congress.
"That means we have to do a better job at getting our word out right now," said Democratic candidate and former prosecutor Kristen Carlson.
In Bay News 9's Exclusive Decision 2018 Congressional poll, 31 percent of voters said they'd vote for Carlson. Candidates Andrew Learned and Ray Pena each had 12 percent.
"Our army has always been the grassroots," said Learned, a Navy veteran and small business owner. "We've been texting. We've been phone banking."
Political expert Ana Cruz said that's what it's going to take to win the 15th congressional district, especially with an open seat that spans three counties.
"You don't have real high profile candidates on either side for Republicans or Democrats so it's going to take some real boots on the ground," Cruz said.
There's not much time to campaign. With absentee ballots out, voting is already underway.