After winning the Republican primary on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott reminded Floridians on Wednesday that his $400 million cut of vehicle registration fees, one of his chief legislative priorities this year, takes effect on Sept. 1.
Scott insisted these fees were “tax increases” which then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed off on back in 2009. Despite having spent most of his political life as a Republican, Crist won the Democratic primary on Tuesday and will face Scott in November.
With Tuesday marking the end of primary season in Florida, focus now turns to the general election. That was clear on Wednesday morning as the Florida Medical Association PAC (FMA PAC) announced it was backing Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, over Democrat Judithanne McLauchlan in what is expected to be one of the most competitive legislative races come November.
John Cortes, the vice president of the Florida Hispanic Caucus and a retired New York City corrections officer, pulled off a major upset in the Democratic primary on Tuesday by beating state Rep. Ricardo Rangel, D-Kissimmee.
With 5,494 votes counted, Cortes had 2,843 votes (51.75 percent) and Rangel had 2,651 (48.25 percent).
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, routed challenger Brandon Cannon in the Republican primary on Tuesday.
With almost 35,500 votes counted, Negron had 85.4 percent while Cannon took 14.6 percent of the vote.
“I really appreciate this community’s vote of confidence in the commitment we share for protecting our environment, supporting our seniors and safeguarding our constitutional rights," Negron said after his big win. “I look forward to continuing our grassroots campaign in the general election.”
Florida Sen. Geri Thompson, D-Orlando, beat Victoria Siplin to win a seat in the Senate back in 2012 and, on Tuesday, she bested former Sen. Gary Siplin, the husband of her old foe, in the Democratic primary.
With more than 23,400 votes cast, Thompson was well ahead, taking 64.1 percent while Siplin mustered 35.9 percent.
After losses in state legislative primaries in 2010 and 2012, former state Rep. Carl Domino won the Republican primary to take on U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., in November.
With 75.5 percent of the vote in, Domino took 38 percent followed by former Connecticut state Rep. Alan Schlesinger with 24.7 percent. Nurse and conservative activist Beverly Hires took third with 14.1 percent followed by businessman Brian Lara with 12.6 percent. Former Tequesta Councilman Calvin Turnquest garnered 6.9 percent followed by businessman Nick Wukoson with 3.8 percent.
With the support of former Gov. Jeb Bush and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo won the Republican primary to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., in November. Garcia ranks as one of the top Republican targets in the nation.
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings easily bested two candidates in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
With 21.6 percent of the vote, Hastings was cruising with 78 percent of the vote. Jean Enright stood in distant second with 15.8 percent while former heavyweight boxing contender Jameel McCline was in single digits with 6.2 percent.
Hastings, who was first elected to Congress back in 1992, will be a heavy favorite in November in this strongly Democratic district. Jay Bonner has the Republican nomination while Luis Fernandez is running with no party affiliation.
Carol Platt from the Osceola County Realtors Association won the Republican primary on Tuesday night to challenge U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.
With 96 percent of votes in, Platt, who had the backing of former Gov. Jeb Bush, took 54.4 percent in the primary. Navy veteran Jorge Bonilla came in a distant second with 29.8 percent and businessman Peter Vivaldi took third with 15.8 percent of the vote.
Grayson easily beat Nick Ruiz on the Democratic side, taking more than 74 percent of the vote.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., easily bested Republican primary challenger John Krause in Tuesday’s primary. With more than 44 percent of votes in, Miller had 77.4 percent and Krause 22.6 percent.
Miller will face businessman Jim Byran, who has the Democratic nomination, and businessman Mark Wichern who is running with no party affiliation. This Panhandle district is a Republican stronghold, making Miller a heavy favorite come November.