Ocala Star Banner 2/10/16

State Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, has prefiled to run for supervisor of elections in Lake County.

Hays, who currently represents a large swath of southern Marion County, said he is familiar with the duties of the position because he has served on the Ethics and Elections Committee in the state Senate.

Hays, who has served in the Senate since 2010, had raised about $274,000 through January for his re-election bid, but gave notice Monday of a change in plans.

As of Wednesday morning, only one candidate was listed in the race for District 11: Chuck O'Neal of Apopka, a Democrat. District 11 also includes all of Lake County and small parts of Sumter and Orange counties.

“I feel very capable of serving the people with the same level of conscientiousness and integrity that I have brought to my service life previously,” he said. “I feel my administrative skills are certainly well matched to the demands of that job.”

Hays is the fifth candidate to prefile after Emogene Stegall, Florida's longest-serving elections chief, announced she was retiring after serving more than 40 years in the position.

Eustis Mayor Michael Holland, Margie Eaton, a judicial assistant in Orange County, Christopher Flint and Scott Larson are also vying for the position.

This article was reported by the Daily Commercial. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.