Florida 2022 Primary Election Recap

Tallahassee State Capitol buildings Florida USA

Most of the votes from Tuesday’s primary elections have been counted across Florida, and the general election matchups have taken shape. As of Thursday, some votes were still being counted, with a few close races still undecided.

In total, more than 3.6 million Florida voters cast primary ballots – about one-third on the actual Election Day. That’s about 26% voter turnout, slightly lower than the 2018 midterm primaries (27%).

Following the primaries, Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio now knows officially that he will take on Democrat Val Demings in the general election. Demings, a current Congresswoman and former Orlando police chief, was widely expected to win her party’s Senate nomination.

Former Governor and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist easily beat state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in the high-profile Democratic primary for Florida governor. Crist will face incumbent Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in November.

In the Democratic primary for Attorney General, former State Attorney Aramis Ayala emerged victorious over Daniel ‘Grim Reaper’ Uhlfelder, and will face incumbent Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody, who ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

The race for Agriculture Commissioner featured primaries on both sides of the aisle, with victories for Republican Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson and Democrat Naomi Blemur.

While all but two of Florida’s 28 congressional districts had contested primary elections on Tuesday, several were especially contentious and generated considerable attention:
In District 1, incumbent Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz overcame a primary challenge from Mark Lombardo and will face Democrat Rebekah Jones, a former Florida data scientist, in November.
In the redrawn District 4, Democratic votes are still being counted between small business owner LaShonda Holloway and former state Sen. Anthony Hill. The winner will face Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean.

  • In District 1, incumbent Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz overcame a primary challenge from Mark Lombardo and will face Democrat Rebekah Jones, a former Florida data scientist, in November.
  • In the redrawn District 4, Democratic votes are still being counted between small business owner LaShonda Holloway and former state Sen. Anthony Hill. The winner will face Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean.
  • In the redrawn District 7, with Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy foregoing a reelection bid, Democrats chose political strategist and Reverend Karen Green while Republicans selected entrepreneur Cory Mills over controversial state rep. Anthony Sabatini.
  • In District 10, with Democratic incumbent Rep. Val Demings running for the U.S. Senate, 25-year-old Maxwell Frost bested a robust primary field that also included state Sen. Randolph Bracy and former U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown and Alan Grayson. By claiming the Democratic nomination, Frost, a Gen-Z community organizer, is the clear favorite to beat GOP nominee Calvin Wimbish for the deep-blue district that Joe Biden carried by 32 points in 2020.
  • In District 11, incumbent Republican Rep. Daniel Webster overcame a tough primary challenge from Trump-endorsed Laura Loomer. He will face Democratic nominee Shante Munns in November.
  • In the redrawn District 13, Democratic incumbent Rep. Charlie Crist is vacating his seat to run for governor. U.S. Air Force veteran Anna Paulina Luna defeated four rivals in the GOP primary, and will now face Democrat Eric Lynn, a former Obama administration official, who ran unopposed.
  • In the newly drawn District 15, former Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee defeated a GOP primary field that included two state legislators. She will face Democrat Alan Cohn, a journalist, in November.
  • In District 20, incumbent Democratic Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick overcame a primary challenge from former County Commissioner Dale Holness and former state Rep. Anika Omphroy, and will face Republican Dr. Drew-Montez Clark in November. Cherfilus-McCormick beat Holness by five votes in a 2021 special election to fill the seat long held by the late Rep. Alcee Hastings.
  • In District 23, with Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch foregoing a reelection bid, Jared Moskowitz, a former state legislator who served as emergency management director under Gov. DeSantis, won the Democratic primary and will face GOP entrepreneur Joe Budd in November.
  • In District 27, state Sen. Annette Taddeo defeated City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell to claim the Democratic nomination. She will face incumbent Republican Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar.

There were only 12 contested primaries in the 40-member Florida Senate. Most primaries featured unopposed candidates who automatically became their party’s nominees, while 17 primaries were canceled when no one qualified to run.

One of the most visible state Senate races took place in Broward County, where Democratic Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book overcame the unusual circumstance of a member of the same party challenging a party leader. In Orlando, two incumbent Democratic state representatives were pitted against each other in a Senate primary with Geraldine Thompson emerging victorious over Kamia Brown.

Only 68 primary races took place across the 120-member Florida House of Representatives. Prominent results included attorney Ashley Gantt’s victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. James Bush III, and incumbent Republican state Rep. Michelle Salzman narrowly defending her seat from former state Rep. Mike Hill. In redrawn District 29, two incumbent State Representatives are headed to a recount with Webster Barnaby leading the GOP Primary by only 31 votes over Elizabeth Fetterhoff.

Visit the Florida Department of State’s Supervisor of Elections page to learn more about your County’s Supervisor of Elections.

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