Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman coasted Tuesday into the Florida state Senate, even as controversy rocked his campaign leading up to election day.

Norman, R-Tampa, for several days in October had been tossed off the ballot by a Leon County Circuit Judge for failing to disclose an Arkansas home his wife purchased with a $500,000 gift from a wealthy Tampa businessman who regularly appeared before the Hillsborough County Commission in years past.

An appeals court overturned that ruling and placed Norman back on the ballot just days before the election, but without a Democratic opponent he coasted into the seat Tuesday.

However, two write-in candidates who did not mount campaigns still received 20 percent of the vote, compared to 80 percent for Norman.

Those close to Norman say he has recently been the subject of a federal grand jury investigation, and he has not spoken publicly since his high-profile court case and ensuing victory.

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