|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 13th district
November 8, 2016
|Preceded by||Andy Gardiner|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 47th district
November 6, 2012 – November 4, 2014
|Preceded by||J. W. Grant|
|Succeeded by||Mike Miller|
November 23, 1948 |
|Spouse(s)||Jerry B. Stewart|
|Children||Sam, Amanda, Courtney|
|Alma mater||Valencia Community College (A.A.)|
Linda Stewart (born November 23, 1948) is a Democratic member of the Florida Senate, representing the 13th district, which includes northeast and central Orange County, since 2016. She previously served one term in the Florida House of Representatives, representing central Orange County from 2012 to 2014.
Stewart was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and moved to Florida in 1950. She attended Valencia Community College and later pursued European independent studies abroad. In 1998, Stewart unsuccessfully ran for the Orange County Commission against incumbent Commissioner Clarence Hoenstine and Mary Wilson, Juan R. Bruno, and Anthony Rizzuto, receiving 21% of the vote. Stewart ran against Hoenstine again in 2002, and defeated him in a one-on-one contest with 51% of the vote. She was elected to a second and final term on the Commission against Jennifer Thompson, JP Quinones, and Martin Collins in 2006, again receiving 51% of the vote. Following Rich Crotty's inability to run for another term as Mayor of Orange County, Stewart ran to succeed him in 2010. In a crowded four candidate race that included Matthew Falconer and fellow Commissioners Teresa Jacobs and Bill Segal, Stewart placed third with 19% of the vote, losing to Jacobs and Segal and failing to qualify for the runoff election, which Jacobs would later win in a landslide.
Florida House of Representatives
When Florida House of Representatives districts were reconfigured in 2012 and incumbent State Representative Scott Randolph decided to seek the Chairmanship of the Florida Democratic Party rather than seek re-election, Stewart ran to succeed him. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and faced former State Representative Bob Brooks, the Republican nominee, in the general election. A contentious general election ensued, with Stewart attacking "Brooks' support for school vouchers and his conservative social politics, saying he's too far right for a district trending Democratic." The Orlando Sentinel endorsed Stewart over Brooks, praising her for the fact that she "distinguished herself for her leadership on two critical issues for Central Florida, growth management and diversifying the region's economy." Ultimately, Stewart narrowly defeated Brooks, winning with 52% of the vote, and was sworn in later that year to her first term.
Stewart ran for the Florida Senate in 2016 after court-ordered redistricting made the 13th district more Democratic-leaning. She defeated former state representative Mike Clelland in the Democratic primary and Republican Dean Asher in the general election, 58 to 42%.
- Derby, Kevin (May 29, 2012). "Scott Randolph Opts Out of Florida House". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
- Damron, David (October 28, 2012). "Brooks-Stewart House race offers stark contrasts". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
- "In House Districts 45, 47". Orlando Sentinel. October 6, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
- Rohrer, Gray (2016-08-30). "Linda Stewart, Beth Tuura post wins for Democrats". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2016-11-12.
- Rohrer, Gray (2016-11-08). "Meager gains for Democrats in Legislature". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2016-11-12.