Audrey Henson, who has previously faced off against several better-known candidates in the congressional race for West Pinellas District 13, has decided to run for State House.
She will run in District 60, which covers parts of St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park.
In this Democratic-leaning State House district, Henson could find herself up against Democrat and environmental scientist Lindsay Cross. Henson also faces a primary against Republican Jarib Figueredo.
But she begins the new race with a major endorsement, from new State House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, a signal that party leaders support her candidacy.
Prior to switching races, Henson had raised a respectable total of $377,652 for his congressional run and had $212,687 in cash after expenses. She cannot transfer that money to her state legislative campaign, but could transfer it to an independent committee that could boost her candidacy.
Cross, meanwhile, raised $140,432. Figueredo did little fundraising.
Henson operates an excavation business based in Pinellas and is the former head of College to Congress, a nonprofit promoting congressional internships for disadvantaged students.
In the race for Congress, she faced a hard-fought Republican primary that includes Anna Paulina Luna, Amanda Makki, Kevin Hayslett and others.