Few changes expected in Florida Senate after November

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After incumbents dominated Tuesday’s primaries, there will probably be little change in the Florida Senate after November 4.

Of 40 Senate seats, half were up for election in 2014. Eight incumbents ran without opposition; Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto clinched another term by winning the Senate District 30 primary.

In addition, three incumbent Senators, Republicans Thad Altman and Tom Lee, as well as Miami Gardens Democrat Oscar Braynon, are sure to win re-election since they face write-in candidates.

In the eight remaining seats, five incumbents — Republicans John Thrasher, Jeff Brandes, Joe Negron, and Democrats Geraldine Thompson and Maria Sachs — have opponents from a major party.

Sachs’ battle is the most difficult, as she fends off a challenge from Republican former Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff in a rematch for Senate District 34.

Republican David Simmons and Democrat Darren Soto face opponents with no party affiliation, and a Libertarian is challenging Republican Jack Latvala.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.