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Dorworth Wins Vote to Lead Florida House Republicans

Lake Mary Rep. Chris Dorworth is now in the line to become a future speaker of the House, winning a vote of support Tuesday from his Republican colleagues.

Dorworth is set to become the Republican leader for the 2014-2016 legislative term, following Rep. Dean Cannon, who will serve as leader from 2010 to 2012, and Rep. Will Weatherford, who will serve as leader from 2012 to 2014. If the Republicans maintain their majority in the House, these men would serve as the speaker of the House.

“I am grateful to my colleagues for their support over the past few years and for their confidence in my leadership as we move forward,” Dorworth said in a release. “The honor of serving as a member of the Republican leadership structure is one that I take extremely seriously, and I am looking forward to the work ahead.”

During his freshman term, Dorworth actively defended a tax exemption for Super Bowl tickets and pushed hard for a bill opposed by unions, that would have allowed workers to unionize by majority sign ups instead of requiring a secret vote. He also faced financial troubles in his personal life during his first term though, even facing foreclosure proceedings on his home.

According to a Florida Trend report from last fall, Dorworth was a partner in a project to build a new subdivision that had to be scrapped after arsenic contamination was found at the site. His $706,000 net worth was down 75 percent from what it was the year before, according to the report.

Among Dorworth's competition for the job was Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, who ultimately threw his support to Dorworth.

“Chris and I have become good friends over the past year, and I am honored to support him as the leader of the House Republican Conference for the 2014-2016 term,” Fresen said. “Headed into the 2010 elections, it is important that we unite and fight for the values and principles that we as Republicans hold so dear.”

Canon, the speaker designate, also released a statement commending Dorworth and Fresen for their work on behalf of the Republican majority.

“I commend Chris and Erik for uniting their class and for continuing to work hard to protect and grow our Republican majority,” he said. “Both are devout public servants and strong, motivated conservative Republicans, who I know will work well together to ensure the continued success of our party.”

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