Newlyweds running for Congress, elections seats


Republican Paul Spain’s defeat last year by Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, wasn’t a total loss.

While running for the Palm Beach-Broward District 22 seat, Spain met Broward County Republican Party Chairwoman Christine Butler. The two struck up a relationship and got married last month.

Now the newlyweds are hitting the campaign trail.

Spain is one of nine Republicans and four Democrats seeking the District 18 congressional seat that Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, is leaving to run for Senate. And Butler says she plans to run for the nonpartisan Palm Beach County elections supervisor’s job using the name Christine Spain.

The Spains switched their voter registrations last month to Jupiter, which is in Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18.

Christine Spain, an attorney whose practice is based in Boca Raton, stepped down as Broward GOP chairwoman in August, telling party officials she was moving to Palm Beach County and eyeing a run for elections chief.

Two-term Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said she plans to run for re-election in 2016, though she has not opened a campaign.

The Spains, who attended a Palm Beach County Tea Party meeting in Jupiter on Monday night, say the his-and-hers candidacies aren’t a big deal.

“We’re both used to juggling a lot of things and careers,” said Christine Spain. “I will be very supportive of him. He’ll be supportive of me. In the best of all worlds, we’ll both win.”

It’s not unprecedented for husbands and wives to simultaneously run for or hold elected office in Florida. Martin County School Board member Rebecca Negron, who’s also seeking the congressional District 18 GOP nomination, is married to state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart.

The late Larcenia Bullard represented a portion of Palm Beach County in the state Senate from 2002 to 2012 while her husband, Ed Bullard, represented a Miami-based seat in the state House from 2000 to 2008.

A two-politician marriage isn’t much different from other two-career unions, Rebecca Negron said.

“It’d be like both people are doctors or both people are nurses,” she said. “It’s just that both people happen to be running for office.”


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