Charlie Crist Beats Nikki Fried, Will Challenge Ron DeSantis in November
For the second time in the last eight years, the former Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, will challenge the incumbent Republican governor of Florida in November. Crist, currently representing Florida’s 13th district, won the Democratic nominee in Tuesday’s primary election, AP Politics reports. After defeating Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, he will take on Governor Ron DeSantis in November.
Crist served as the state’s governor from 2007–2011 as a Republican. He became a Democrat in 2012, saying, “I didn’t leave the Republican Party; it left me.” Crist lost his first bid for a second term when he failed to unseat incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott in the 2014 gubernatorial race.
Five major newspapers endorsed the former governor this summer, including the Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun Sentinel. Democrat members of Congress also put their name behind Crist, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. Kathy Castor and Rep. Al Lawson.
Crist also received a $500,000 campaign contribution from the American Federation of Teachers, which drew the ire of educators within the state.
Val Demings to Challenge Marco Rubio for Senate Seat After Primary Win
Representative Val Demings will take on incumbent Marco Rubio in November’s U.S. Senate race. On Tuesday, Demings defeated primary opponents Ricardo De La Fuente, Brian Rush and William Sanchez, according to CNN. Demings was expected to claim the primary victory, but will face a tougher test against Rubio.
Demings has represented District 10 since 2017. She entered the political arena after nearly three decades in law enforcement, where she served in numerous departments. She became Orlando’s first female Chief of Police in 2007. The Orlando Police Department reduced violent crime by 40 percent during her four years as Chief. Demings is married to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, who also served as Orlando’s Chief of Police from 1998–2002 as well as Orange County Sheriff from 2009–2018. Mayor Demings also won reelection on Tuesday, Florida Politics reports.
Despite her background in law enforcement, two Florida Police Associations and 55 Sheriffs in the state have endorsed Rubio.
Ayala Earns Democratic Nod to Take On Moody in AG Race
State Attorney Aramis Ayala wins the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Ashley Moody as Florida’s Attorney General, CNN reports. Ayala, the first black state attorney in Florida, is known for her refusal to seek the death penalty for convicted murderers. She gained national attention for refusing to pursue the death penalty in the case against Markeith Loyd. Loyd was accused of fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend and an Orlando police officer.
Mills Beats Sabatini in Republican Race for HD7
Cory Mills defeated Anthony Sabatini to claim the Republican nomination for U.S. House District 7, CNN reports. Sabatini conceded on Twitter, blaming media coverage funded by “the Swamp.”
Gaetz Takes Down Lombardo, Merk to Keep HD1
Despite negative press from the national media, incumbent Matt Gaetz cruised to a comfortable victory against challengers Mark Lombardo and Greg Merk, CNN reports. Lombardo criticized Gaetz’s low voting record and comments about women at abortion protests in an interview with Channel 3 News in Pensacola, but the attacks were ultimately unsuccessful in swaying the voters.
21 DeSantis-Endorsed School Board Candidates Win
Although Governor Ron DeSantis ran unopposed in the Republican Party, he still won big on Tuesday night. More than 66% of DeSantis-endorsed school board candidates won their election. In total, 21 out of 30 claimed victory on Tuesday, Politico reports. Another four are headed to a runoff, after failing to capture more than 50% of the vote.
The governor has been outspoken against various progressive social issues in K-12 public schools.
“Parents and I think students, and I think Floridians want our school system to be about educating our kids, not indoctrinating kids,” DeSantis said in Doral on Sunday. “If I could have a conservative majority on every school board in the country, we would be in such good shape.”
Republican Congressional Races
CNN projects primary victories for the following Republican candidates:
Matt Gaetz*, District 1
Kat Cammack*, District 3
Aaron Bean, District 4
John Rutherford, District 5
Michael Waltz*, District 6
Cory Mills, District 7
Scotty Moore, District 9
Calvin Wimbish, District 10
Daniel Webster, District 11
Gus Bilirakis*, District 12
Anna Paulina Luna, District 13
James Judge, District 14
Laurel Lee, District 15
Vern Buchanan*, District 16
Scott Franklin*, District 18
Byron Donalds*, District 19
Brian Mast*, District 21
Joe Budd, District 23
Jesus Navarro, 24
Carla Spalding, 25
Mario Diaz-Balart*, 26
Maria Elvira Salazar*, 27
Carlos Gimenez*, 28
Democratic Congressional Races
CNN projects primary victories for the following Democrat candidates:
Rebekah Jones, District 1
Danielle Hawk, District 3
Karen Green, District 7
Joanne Terry, District 8
Maxwell Frost, District 10
Kathy Castor*, District 14
Alan Cohn, District 15
Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick*, District 20
Jared Moskowitz, District 23
Frederica Wilson*, District 24
Debbie Wasserman Schultz*, District 25
Annette Taddeo, District 27
Robert Asencio, District 28